I needed to pay a bill for our hospitalized friend. I was on the phone probably 45 minutes, during which I received two unexpected blessings. First, I spoke with Cindy, Camille, and Cleopatra (three “C’s” and yes, Cleopatra).
“Cindy,” I said, “I’m trying to pay this bill for an ill friend.”
“We need more friends like you,” she said.
“We thank God for him and for our friendship.”
“Oh yes,” Cindy said, “and the Lord is with us all the time.”
I took a risk. “It sounds like you know Jesus.”
“Oh, I do. I’m a Christian.”
I learned she was in South Africa. Isn’t that awesine? Here I am in California, and through modern technology I talked with a fellow believer across the world. We’re unlikely to meet until we’re both in heaven. I hope I recall this conversation then! (https://www.carolloewen.com/its-a-god-thing/)
CLEOPATRA, ANOTHER BLESSING
Later, I told Cleopatra she had an amazing name.
She: “Yes, my father was ‘one of those'” (not sure what she meant by that).
“We just want your end to be different than hers,” I said.
“I would never take my life. It is a gift from God and I can’t throw it away.”
I mentioned that we are watching as faith and trust work out in our Pastor Tim’s life. Weary, yes. Painful, yes. Uncertain, yes. Hard … oh yes! But Tim, Pam and their family walk in the confidence that they do not travel this journey with brain cancer alone, and that our God walks with them.
Cleopatra shared similar stories with me.
“You must know Jesus,” I said.
What a joy to meet these two women on the phone today. Did I get the bill paid? No–glitch in the system. But I did receive two fragrant blessings through the conversations with these women across the world.
THE FRAGRANCE OF UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS
Thursday, after a full day, Don and I went to a local eatery we enjoy. We heard the man in front of us congratulate his daughter and son-in-law on their anniversary. We joined in with our own congratulations.
“We’re not too far ahead of you … thirteen years,” I said.
“It’s a blessing from God,” said the young husband.
“Indeed it is.”
These three also follow Jesus and we enjoyed a few minutes of connection because of His love. What a gift!
As we are not only Bob’s close friends but his Powers of Attorney and Executors, the load is sometimes heavy. The day after the conversation above was challenging. Our friend was taken from Rehab back to the hospital. After leaving him, Don and I stopped at Cheesecake Factory for dinner. (We haven’t been home to cook much lately!)
We shared a fabulous parmesan chicken dinner and a free cheesecake for my birthday. Our waiter, David, was outgoing and gracious. After dinner he thanked us for treating him the way we had. I smiled and said, “That’s Jesus in us.”
David smiled back. “You know, the nicest customers are those who love Jesus. I love him too.”
He encouraged us to stay strong, knowing some of the hard times prophesied in scripture are coming, to keep the faith, not to be afraid. What a thrill to hear a young man encourage us “oldsters” with his confidence in Christ.
It’s been a hard week in many ways. Our friend has dealt with pretty intense pain, has moved from hospital to Rehab to hospital, and now has elected comfort care.
THE BLESSING OF UNEXPECTED GOD-CONNECTIONS
I feel like God has surrounded us with people of faith that we’ve never even met before–as well as those we already know and love–to show His faithful care for us in a difficult time. I’m so grateful. I don’t share these incidents to say I’m some sort of model. God and I know how far short I fall in many areas. But I want to encourage you not to be afraid to ask questions, to say you love Jesus. You may be surprised by the responses you receive!
As believers in today’s world, we often feel like we’re alone. But we’re not! We have the accessibility of Bible teaching churches, small groups, Bible studies, and a great number of available resources online. https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Blessings-Inspirations-Nourish-Heart/dp/1982199229
The prophet Elijah won a contest between Israel’s God and Baal (I Kings 18). It was a mighty victory, but afterward Elijah ran and hid because Queen Jezebel, who had already killed many of God’s prophets, threatened to kill him. He said “Here I am, God. I’m all alone, and now they’re trying to kill me too.”
And God answered him. “There are still 7000 in Israel who worship me. You are not alone!” And neither are we.
If you think of Don and me, pray for decisions ahead with our friend, for relief of pain and for peace as he trusts in Christ. And thank Him for the blessings He brings your way.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11
May your eyes and mine be open to see unexpected blessings this week.