Something very unusual happened that Sunday morning in mid-December. I had just finished writing a devotional about an extraordinary business that I was blessed to have visited four months earlier, and I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I had to send the story to the owners of this business! Now, I rarely do such a thing, and as I usually do when God tells me to do something extraordinary, I hesitated.
“But I don’t have their email address,” I argued.
The response was clear. I had to send it the old-fashioned way, through Canada Post!
My argument continued: “But I don’t even have the name of the business, Lord! Let alone their street address!”
Again, the response was clear. I needed to check my wallet!
I complied, but with reluctance. Imagine my surprise when I found a gas bill tucked behind one of my US dollars! And even more astonishing, the address of the business in question was written at the top!
Finally ready to obey, I printed out the devotional and wrote a small letter to the business owners, including a business card of my ministry.
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect any response, so you can just imagine my surprise when, three weeks later, I received an email from the wife of the business owner. She and her husband are Christians, and just a few days before receiving my letter, they were debating whether or not they should stay in business, whether or not they were making a difference in the world. They were so grateful that I had followed God’s promptings, because they perceived my letter as a direct answer of encouragement from God. The timing couldn’t have been any better!
These people have been terrific in sharing their love for the Lord through their business, through their uplifting displays, advertisements, and even on local bill boards. Unknowingly they have been a blessing to their town, as well as to hundreds of visitors. This was God’s way of showing them that they were, indeed, making a difference!
It gives me the shivers to think that of what might have happened had I disobeyed the Lord and refrained from sending that letter. Besides disappointing God, I would have let down two beautiful people of God.
One can never go wrong when walking in obedience to the Lord. His earnest command that Jesus gave to all of us, hours before his death (See John 13:34-35), a command that is echoed throughout the New Testament, is that we should love one another: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” (2 John 6 NIV)
Friends, God always gives you choices, but ignoring His promptings and continuing to do your own thing will always bring hurt to someone, to say nothing of making you feel miserable yourself. By relying on His Spirit in all things, we will render a pleasing service to our fellow men as well as to our Heavenly Father: “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.” (2 Cor 9:12-14 NIV)
May we learn from our shortcomings, and may we discover the wonders of depending on the One who cares for all of us. May our goal and purpose be the same as Jesus’: “You’ve heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life.” (John 14:30 The Message)