The low-tech status of my less-than-smart flip phone did not stop God from texting me this week.
Typed by the faithful fingers of a friend, it was sent directly from God’s hand. That is the only way to explain its impact. It was a direct and precise answer to prayer, with absolute perfect timing, and satisfied my thirsty soul. That is God at work.
Let me give you the details.
That morning was rough. I had been struggling with discouragement for a couple weeks. (More on that in another post to come. Just know for now that I had been down, realized that it was partly due to the eternal arctic winter we’re having in Chicagoland, and had reached out to some friends to ask for prayer about it.) As I went to bed the night before, my own prayer was: “God, I just need some encouragement, please. Send some encouragement my way.”
Already running a few minutes behind schedule, I felt anything but encouraged as I realized while heading out the door it was snowing – again. That meant yet another long scary stressful drive to my office 17 miles away. Maybe this does not sound far to you. Trust me, it is. It involves crossing a river over which there aren’t nearly enough bridges, a plethora of traffic lights, and multiple train tracks. In perfect conditions, it’s 35 minutes. I don’t like to be in the car even that long just to get to work. On a normal day, it’s usually 45 minutes. Although becoming all too common, that day was not normal. I knew I’d be in the car for a while. I knew I’d once again be nervous (let’s be honest) terrified about driving on snow and ice, scared to be moving, then frustrated when I hit traffic and stopped moving.
Combined with my already bleak state of mind, this 142nd storm of the never-ending winter was stealing any remaining joy from my day.
Grudgingly, I began my commute. A couple blocks into my drive, the radio DJ told me there was an asteroid headed toward earth. It would be passing nearby, she stated. Before she added reassurance that it wouldn’t be hitting earth, I had time to think, “Fine, maybe it will hit and put us all out of our misery.”
You could say my heart was not the healthiest it has ever been.
Forty-five minutes later, I had covered roughly eight miles, and was sitting still.
Filled with frustration and discouragement, I reached for my phone to text someone at work to let them know I would get there eventually. I planned to begin the text with “Have I mentioned I hate snow?”
But, when I opened my phone, I saw there were new texts. I had not heard my phone chime. Curious, I read them.
As gratitude and an amazing sense of God’s love for me filled my heart, tears filled my eyes.
I realize you will read the next few sentences and not be impacted as I was. They will seem like fairly simple words. But, they were the exact words I needed in that moment.
“Good morning, Kerry! Praying for u. Don’t let the devil steal ur joy bc it’s snowing out.”
“Praying God gives u the needed grace to keep ur eyes on Jesus today-not the snow or clouds or cold.”
It truly was like God sent me the text himself. It reached my soul.
Have you ever received a soul gift? This is my personal term for perfect presents. You receive a gift, and it’s like the giver saw right into your very soul, reached deep into your heart, plucked something out, and handed it to you. You wonder how they chose something so meaningful, something you may not have even thought to ask for yourself if making a wish list. I usually only think of the term in relation to gifts that come in boxes and bags. Now I know even a text can be a soul gift.
I was touched in so many ways. A friend cared enough to think of me, knew me well enough to realize what effect the morning conditions would have on me and know I would need some encouragement, said just the right thing to encourage me in Christ, and was praying for me. It also drove home the fact that God loves me so much, down to the details of putting that friend in my life and working through her to encourage me, just as I had prayed for!
The next 45 min were better than the first. (Yes, the total commute time was 1.5 hours.) I put on my Vertical Church worship CD and listened, sang, praised, and focused on God the rest of the way to work. I thanked God for reaching out to me through a friend. I thanked him for an answer to prayer. I praised the Lord for loving me.
I arrived at work with a better attitude than I had when I left home. I enjoyed the work I was doing that day. I was renewed with hope, encouragement, and joy in God’s love.
Why did I share this with you?
1. To give God glory by sharing what He’s done for me.
2. To remind you that God loves us so much.
3. To communicate the truth God continues to teach me this winter:
If my joy is based on the weather, I’m looking to the wrong Son.
4. To encourage you not to minimize the small things God prompts us to do. What may seem insignificant to you at the time may have an immense impact you never even realize. Let God use you to share His love with others in whatever way is needed in that moment. Your next effort could be someone’s soul gift. It might just be a text.