God confronted me this morning at church about an important assignment that He is giving me and in turn gave me an intense hunger to be in His presence. So this afternoon, I planned a trip to the church to spend a few hours just basking in His presence and seeking His face.
As I grabbed the keys to the church, I decided to buy something to drink on the way. I stopped by the tienda with the plan to just be there for three minutes. However, God had other plans. The neighbor that I have been reaching out to for the past year looked at me, and without me saying anything, began to pour her heart out. It was the moment I had been waiting so long for. She shared her struggles with the church and why she doesn’t attend anymore and some even deeper pains in her heart. I had the chance to pour into her life by listening, and received an open door to continue conversing at that level in the future.
As I traveled to the church, I kept giving thanks for the great opportunity, even though it took an hour away from my “plans”. As I arrived at the church, one of my preteens stopped by to listen to me sing, and ended up staying for over two hours. He grabbed the guitar and played the same chord to the beat of the songs as we worshiped the Lord together and made a “joyful” noise. I kept thinking, “I don’t think there is a more beautiful sound to God right now.”
The secret came at one point when he was poking his heart away at the piano. I sat down and wrote in my prayer journal, “God, I came here to spend time with You,” and I heard Him say to my heart, “You are spending time with Me.” I realized right then and there that pouring into the lives of my neighbor and my preteen student wasn’t any less of a prayer than if I would have turned on some nice music and lost myself in God’s Spirit. His presence, in fact, was filling me more and more as the moments passed, and I am so thankful that my prayer time this afternoon was not what I expected. I left the church afterwards with an inexpressible joy and peace and an awareness that I had just spent the most valuable time with Jesus.
Have you put God and how He works in a box? Be open today for the beautiful surprises that He has for you!