So this serves as my slightly-delayed weekly post on gratitude, but I thought I would take a different approach this time. More often than not, as we face each day, we have no idea what lay ahead! Today was such a day for me, and I thought I would share highlights of it with you here.
A little context: sometimes, I think God prearranges “divine intersections” with certain people – usually with no advance warning – and it is clear that He has placed us in that situation so that we can come alongside another person and provide His love, care, and support to someone who is hurting. I had such an opportunity today.
There is someone in my circle of influence who is going through a very difficult personal situation now. The Lord had put this man on my heart – let’s just call him Theo – and I invited a handful of friends to (discreetly) pray for him and his family. Truly, he is being hit on all sides now, and the timing of everything really couldn’t be worse.
Anyway, I suppose that I just “happened” to be at the right place at the right time, spiritually speaking, when I observed that Theo was not okay. We were both headed to the same appointment, and it was clear to me that he needed some fresh air, and perhaps a few moments to gather himself.
Without really thinking – it’s interesting how our instincts kick in during times like these, and God faithfully guides us as we try to do the right thing – I gently beckoned him outside and away from the other people. Once we were far enough away, I gave him a moment to collect himself, and also reminded him that his personal situation had to be his first priority – everything else was a distant second. And while he appreciated the sentiment, he nonetheless decided to stay and continue with the appointment.
Anyway, we eventually went back to the meeting and everything continued as before, but I think there was a renewed understanding after that brief exchange.
Sometimes, all we’re being asked to do by God is to simply be fully present for another person, and to offer support as appropriate. Sadly. I think we often overcomplicate things that the Lord has made incredibly simple by design.
But I digress.
It was a long day for Theo, and – in many ways – I think he is still reeling (understandably so). I will continue to pray for him and his loved ones. It’s just hard to see him struggle.
I suppose I feel most grateful because our paths (mine and Theo’s) crossed at precisely the right time, and in that moment, the Lord gave me wisdom to know what to say and do. And – just as important, if not more so – what to not say and not do.
When I got up yesterday morning, I had no idea that I would be encountering this situation, although the Lord gave me some advance notice a few days earlier that Theo was struggling. However, in my travels, I’ve noticed that there frequently is a gap between the insight that God gives us about a particular matter, and then the specific unfolding of events that transpires later on. This is what happened to me yesterday.
In a general sense, I knew that Theo was not okay, but I had no way of anticipating how things would play out. In fact, I had more or less dismissed my prior impression about him, thinking I had perhaps misread things a bit. It’s ironic, though, how the Lord confirms the messages that He sends to us – often in ways that we never expected.
Hear me: I am not trying to toot my own horn here. I suppose that I feel grateful because God is so concerned about each one of us that He takes the time to create divine intersections between two or more people, where one person is blessed to receive, and the other individual is blessed to give. The balance in the relationship could shift it anytime, as perhaps I may one day be the person who needs the comfort, and God may send someone to my aid – at just the right time – to provide solace and encouragement.
Isn’t it a comfort to realize that we are never truly alone, even in the very depths of our sorrows? And – as this verse from Proverbs 11 indicates – we only stand to benefit when we take the time to be kind and generous toward others. 🦋