Have you ever felt a nudge deep in your heart, urging you to do something that seemed so strange, you decided you couldn’t possibly be hearing God right? That “whisper” must’ve been a brain flutter, triggered by a sappy commercial or the previous night’s.
But then it came again, and again, and excitement grew. But, before you put feet to the thought, another follows until your brain forms a list of all the reasons you shouldn't do that thing.
It doesn't really matter what the thing is, does it? It can be something as simple as getting up and getting your spouse a glass of water when you'd rather remain on the couch. Or maybe it's volunteering to serve in a new ministry or it's writing a check for a missionary family.
I was a young mom just beginning to grow my faith and had developed a habit of hiding. Of wanting to step out, but, well, I didn't. Instead, I went to church, sat in the back by myself, (my husband wasn't a believer at the time), then, when the sermon ended, grabbed my daughter from the nursery and hurried home.
I did this, Sunday after Sunday, and week after week, as I listened to the sermon, an odd thought arose: You should go to the nursing home.
It was the strangest idea ever. I didn't know anyone in a nursing home and truly had no reason to go. Besides, I had enough to manage keeping my toddler occupied. And what would I do there? Did nursing homes even allow such a thing—random strangers to come in, and do what? Sit?
No. It was absurd, and so, I shoved the thought aside and resumed my routine: Go to church, sing songs, pray, go home. Repeat.
But the notion wouldn't go away, and after a month of steady promptings, I went, and brought my daughter with me.
I randomly chose the facility, marched inside with a toddler on one hip and a stuffed diaper bag bouncing against the other.
I met Frank that first day. He was a feisty old man full of laughter and jokes, and he adored my princess. The three of us quickly formed a relationship, one my daughter remembers to this day. She and I came often, Frank and I chatting about everything from the weather to... well, to be honest, I don't remember. And it didn't really matter, because sometimes, oftentimes, presence is enough.
But then one day, maybe two months since our first visit, when we arrived, we were greeted by one of Frank's caretakers. We learned he’d taken ill and refused to leave his room. He refused to see anyone.
Anyone, it seemed, but my princess. When he learned we’d come, he ventured out, and we talked, and again, I don't remember what about, but it didn't really matter.
Because sometimes, oftentimes, presence is enough.
God had prompted me, for over a month, to do something so simple yet so deeply meaningful—to sit with his dying child.
And I almost missed it.
When I read 2 Thessalonians 1:11, I think of this event.
"...May [God] give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do" (NLT).
May God give us the power to overcome our selfishness, our anxieties and insecurities, our pointless busyness, and everything else that hinders us from responding to His promptings with anything but full and immediate obedience.
Let's talk about this! Can you share a time when you sensed God leading you to do something that didn't seem to make sense? Did you respond with obedience? If so, what were the results? If not, what kept you from responding in obedience?
What might God be asking you to do this week?
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