Ask and you shall receive….

Long story short(hahaha)….
During my sweet time with a college aged friend yesterday, we both decided that we were going to challenge ourselves into not asking for or expecting things from God for this week, and instead to focus on allowing God to show us HOW He loves-ways that He shows us that He loves us. 10 years apart in age and because of the Lord’s Great Love, we have been put together at this time in our lives when we are both going through very similar circumstances..note, i did not say similar situations, but similar circumstances. We are both waiting on the Lord to fulfill a promise and give us direction and the “next step” in our lives….Anyway, needless to say, we both confessed to the fact that we are far more likely to be in God’s Word and aware of what He’s doing in our lives when we want something from Him-yes, OUCH!
We are reading the book “Crazy Love” by Frances Chan and this week, God spoke through Frances and asked us the very difficult question of “Are you in love with God, or with His stuff?”
So..back to our challenge…we have committed to looking for what God wants to show us. We made our commitment and departed into the great unknown…and let me tell you, when it’s God, it’s far more GREAT than I could have ever imagined!
I immediately went to have lunch with a friend and after she had to leave, I sat at my table clipping coupons for my shopping trips. The first couple that sat down next to me were a sweet young, probably college aged couple. They were not crude or rude or even overly consumed with the world in their conversation, but I noticed that God never came up in their conversation (I was in a quiet corner in Panera Bread, in close quarters, so not eaves-dropping would have been really difficult!). Anyway, after about 30 minutes they left and another group of 4 people occupied their table. I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like a mother, possibly her 2 sons and a girl, either a girlfriend of one of the sons, or a cousin, maybe… (yes-I’m such a woman, trying to figure all this out…).
Anyway-as they sat down and waited on their food, they casually conversed. Not much different from the previous couple. Then, they go their page and picked up their food and returned to their seats. One boy was on his cell and I felt an uncomfortable silence from the other 3 and then heard him say he’d have to call back whoever he was on the phone with and promptly hung up. Without prompting, they all joined hands and the mother asked who would like to say grace. The three 18-22ish looking young adults each offered and one of the boys began praying. Can I just tell you how I teared up and held back sobs as that sweet young man said the most beautiful, heartfelt prayer over their meal-asking for the Holy Spirit to guide them in their conversation and bless their fellowship-so beautiful and natural and not at all rehearsed.
The interesting part was that after that, their conversation was not completely unlike the previous couple’s, except for one obvious detail-there was joy and purpose in their words. The mother was obviously highly involved in their lives and very loving and interested in all of their conversations.
After about 30 minutes, I had clipped all my coupons and was preparing to leave. I had the strongest urge to tell the mother how blessed I had been by their time together and that I just knew that God was blessing her children through her obvious service to them throughout their childhood. I lingered a second in hopes of catching a lull in their conversation to offer up my encouragement, but it didn’t come and I walked out feeling blessed all the same, but regretting my missed opportunity. As I got into my car, I either offered up a quick prayer of thanks for the blessing or asked God to present me with another opportunity with that family if He so ordained it. I think I even thought, “yeah, right..I’m sure that will happen…” or something equally lacking in the faith department.
Then I headed on to my errands. I went to Lifeway and was probably there an hour or so (of which I also have an amazing story to tell after this) and then on to Target, where I spent at least another hour searching for my coupon items and going through the Halloween costumes in search of a clearanced Woody or Buzz Lightyear for the boys for Christmas (which I did not find!). Anyway, as I was checking out at the register, there was a problem with one of my purchases-an incorrect price scan-ughhh. The very sweet cashier flipped on her flashing light for a customer service person and I turned around to tell the people behind me that they might want to go around to the next register, that had just been freed up. The sweet couple were so lost in each others eyes, literally, that I don’t think they even noticed that there had been a delay. I didn’t even realize it, but as soon as I apologized and told them they might want to go around, the boy turned around and said, “oh, it’s no problem! Ma’aam (I think he said ma’am0he seemed like he would, at least!) were you just in Panera cutting out coupons next to our table?”
There they were.
Very quickly I blurted out, “was that your mom with you? (what an idiot am I?)”
He said yes and I then had my chance to tell him how blessed I was to be next to them and witness their Christ-centered conversation and told him to please pass along to his mother that I thought she was doing a great job with her children and how impressed I was with them.” He got the sweetest look on his face and said, “Wow, thank you so much!” He was so sincere. He was so kind.
What an AWESOME God we have that He ordained this and without a doubt, showed me His glorious Divine authority to work all of that out-simply Amazing! All honor and glory and praise to Christ alone!
Now, when I was in Lifeway, I was searching fo ra birthday gift for a sweet little boy that is the son of our good friends. I have felt an urging lately to only buy Christ-centered gifts for children’s birthday parties and Lifeway can always deliver! We are also on a very strict budget for a while as we are committed to getting out debt within a year and then celebrating by going on a Disney World/Cruise over spring break (hence, the crazy coupon-clipping!). Anyway, as I was searching and searching, I just couldn’t find anything except a $5 DVD for the friend. Then, as I was about to give up and head to Target, the super sweet sales lady came up to me and said, “Ma’am, would you be interested in a free Jonah Veggie Tales DVD with your purchase? We had a promotion about a month ago with these and had forgotten about them and have a stack to give away!” I was so shocked, i couldn’t believe it! Yet again I feel like God was blessing our obedience in sticking with a budget and with only buying Christ-centered birthday gifts.
How could you NOT be totally, head over heels, in “Crazy Love” with your God?
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 40:31
Have any great stories? I would LOVE to hear them?

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