Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Divine Appointment in the Produce Section

I bought “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst at the She Speaks conference this year. I’m trying very hard to listen to God, to learn to hear Him better. And to do what He asks. I’ve realized recently that I get distracted by the good I try to do. The search for the next great ministry, for my “place” to serve became like an idol. My focus stopped being on God. I didn’t even realize it, since my quest was to find a way to serve God. I guess even good things can trip you up…

In Lysa’s book, she shares a prayer that she says before getting out of bed every morning, and I have adopted it as well. It goes like this: “Lord, today I want to see you. I want to hear you. I want to know you, and I want to follow hard after you.”

So yesterday, I had to go to the grocery store (which I hate). While in the produce section, I saw an older gentleman asking the high-school-age stocker where the 99-cent tomatoes were. As I looked at him, I noticed his physical condition. He was walking with a cane, and was using that same hand to push his cart. One arm was much shorter than the other, and didn’t seem to work very well. He was struggling just to get around. I knew I should help him. So I did.

I showed him the tomatoes. I found a produce bag for him, and held it open while he filled it. He asked, “About how much is that?” I replied, “I don’t know. How much do you want?” “Oh, about four pounds. I like tomatoes,” he smiled. So I weighed them for him. Only three pounds. He said that was good enough, and thanked me for my help.

I retrieved my shopping cart and went about my shopping. I felt like I should help him finish, and as each aisle passed I felt worse and worse because I hadn’t. Then we met once again. This time, I offered to assist him again, but he declined. I felt better at having at least tried. But I still felt a little bad for not staying with him from the beginning. I saw him several more times throughout the store, and he looked just pitiful. My heart ached for this poor soul, as I pictured him loading these groceries into a car, and trying to drive. I could visualize him in my mind unloading his groceries, carrying one bag at a time with his good hand, which also held his cane.

I didn’t want to seem pushy, so even though I wanted to do more for him, I didn’t ask. He had already turned me down.

I think my grocery store trip was really a divine appointment. I know that God urged me to help that old man. Did I succeed? I do believe I was obedient, but I just don’t know if I accomplished everything God wanted. I may never know the answer to that.

But God answered my morning prayer. I saw God in that grocery store. I heard Him tell me to help that perfect stranger. I knew what God’s will was – to help “the least of these.” And by doing so, I followed hard after Him. I believe that I took the first step to becoming a woman who says “yes” to God, and THAT is exciting…


  1. Dear Beth,
    I am so very touched by your obedience story. And, even more importantly, I'm sure God is as well. Remember, our job is obedience... God's job is outcome. I suspect God asking you to assist this man had less to do with him needing physical help and more to do with this man simply needing someone to pause and notice him.

    There is such power in pausing.

    What if that man had prayed and asked the Lord yesterday to please have one person during his day acknowledge him in some way... and out of all the world, God picked you. Not because the job was particularly difficult or that you would even accomplish it with absolute finesse... but you were chosen for one glorious reason. God knew your heart was in a place to simply say yes. And that my friend is awesome.
    Rejoicing with you!
    Lysa TerKeurst

  2. Hi-- thanks for leaving me a comment... I hope you don't mind that I told Lysa about what you wrote. I knew she would be touched by how her book had inspired you. I pray it will continue to do so. Thanks for sharing, thanks for letting me know you started a blog, too! I will keep checking back so keep on posting!


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