She Met God in the Grocery Store
You are the light of the world ... In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14a, 16 (NIV)
A simple prayer. A morning routine. "Open our eyes, Lord, so we can see how You want to use us this day." Little did we know how mightily God would answer our request.
We had just arrived for a girls' weekend, and my friend Karen and I planned a trip to the local market.
A young mom woke up that same day with the same idea. She pulled her hair back in a ponytail, slipped on her flip-flops, grabbed her keys and ran out the door.
As Karen and I approached the checkout, we found ourselves behind a woman waiting on someone to arrive. She motioned for us to go ahead while looking back toward the aisles. But before we could move our cart forward, a young mom with a cart full of groceries and crying child in tow, approached, waving to the older woman.
As we allowed the young woman to get in front of us, my heart began to pound and I began to tremble. In that moment, the Lord impressed on my heart something so strange... "Buy her groceries."
What? He spoke again in a whisper: "Love that young woman. Buy her groceries."
I hesitated but then reached out, tapped her on the shoulder and spoke the words God laid on my heart: "I know it sounds strange, but God told me that we are to buy your groceries."
She gave me a quizzical look but with tears filling her eyes, graciously accepted. Then she and the other woman left.
Moments later, the other woman returned. She identified the young woman as her daughter, Micah. She shared how Micah's husband recently walked out on the family, shattering their world, leaving her feeling unloved and unworthy of love.
She could barely make ends meet. She felt abandoned by everyone, but most especially God. Days before our God-ordained appointment in the grocery store, Micah and her mother had prayed. Micah's prayer is what astounded us: "God if You are real, if You love me, show me that You have not forgotten me!"
The reason for God's urging became so clear. God wanted to extend unconditional love to Micah ... to offer something tangible to her for which nothing would be expected in return.
Have you ever felt that "urge"? The whisper in your heart to reach out and do something that feels uncomfortable ... awkward ... even embarrassing? Trust that feeling. Quite often it's God's invitation to participate in His heavenly work. It's God moving you to let your light shine into His broken and hurting world.
In today's key verse, Jesus tells us we are "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14a). This is because when we invite Jesus into our lives, He fills our hearts with the light of His unconditional love, making us living, breathing vessels of that love. God then intentionally intersects our lives through divine appointments so that we can shine the light of love we have received into the life of another.
In the midst of Micah's deepest sorrow and desperate cries for love, God responded intimately and personally. He showed her unconditional love. He met the cry of her heart. Upon finishing her story, Micah's mother spoke words forever etched on my heart: "Micah now knows that God has not forgotten her!"
On an ordinary day, in an ordinary store, performing an ordinary chore, God called two mothers to an extraordinary task. He crossed our paths with one of His girls who needed to experience His extraordinary love.
Micah met God in the grocery store that day. And thankfully, so did I.
Open my eyes, Lord, so that I can see how You want to use me this day. Give me the ability to see the world through the lens of Your heart, to recognize Your divine appointments and to have the courage to say, "Yes." In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Luke 10:27, "He answered, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Over the next few days, pray the prayer above. Look for opportunities to shine the light of Christ's love.
Has God brought someone to your mind, prompting you to reach out to that person? Consider how and when you can obey.