While I was out running errands today, I had a conversation with a stranger who told me she had just quit smoking. I asked her how long it had been since she had her last smoke. Just yesterday. I told her every single moment was a small victory for her to celebrate. I encouraged her and let her talk about her smoking addiction. After talking with her for quite some time, I felt the Lord nudging me to invite her to a special service we’re having at our church next week. It’s something I am really excited about- 9 churches coming together to worship and give thanks… 9 churches in our community uniting as one in Christ Jesus! With all the division in the world right now, this is the perfect time for this!
I waited until I knew it was the right moment to ask her… Do you go to church? I asked her, nonchalantly.
No- I don’t do that kind of thing.
Well this would be the perfect service to come to then! I explained how a bunch of churches in our community were coming together…
No, I’m not interested in that.
And immediately I felt that door slam shut. She changed the subject quickly, clearly ready to end the conversation at that point. It was awkward, to say the least!
As she continued to make small talk, I started feeling a little sorry for myself. I’d been rejected. She didn’t ask me the usual “what church do you go to?” or even say the polite “I’ll think about it”… just a flat out NO. I hate rejection. It’s hard to put yourself out there…to be obedient to invite strangers to church. Who am I kidding? It’s hard to just flat have conversations and LOVE people.
I said goodbye and told her that I’d be praying for her as she continued to break the nicotine habit. “You can DO it!” I told her. Then I then went to my car, feeling like a complete DORK and a REJECT.
And He brought to my mind this verse-
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
1so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.- Isaiah 55
All He asks us to do is be obedient. We throw out the seeds… HE does the watering.
As I drove home, I started to replay the words of our conversation in my mind…and then I looked ahead of me and the license plate in front of me said it all.
On the license plate was this-
GD LOVS U
And in that instant, those feelings of being a complete nerd and a rejected vanished. He loves you. And He loves me. And He loves that stranger I spoke to today.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9