Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘Love’

Sometimes it’s the little things that count … October 2010

I have never finished writing up the story of the kindy teacher and her husband.  Life got busy and the journey on this one was intense.  It was, as many stories, one that did not finish with the first, or the second encounter, but as with life with God, there was a journey to be had … for both the teacher and her husband … and me.

It was not long after I had attended the ICU the second time, and had the feedback that L was doing really well, that I dropped my son M off at kindy for his session and received a very aggressive response from the kindy teacher.   L had suddenly gone backwards, and had started to experience arrhythmia (a disturbed heart rhythm).  While some arrhythmias don’t affect your overall health, others are more serious, even life threatening … and L’s were apparently serious enough to require surgery and from memory a  a pace maker to regulate his heart beat.

Now while I knew I was not responsible, I felt responsible.  I barely made it back to the car before the tears started and by the time I was home I was a sobbing mess.  I called a friend, an older wiser Christian, who encouraged me, said it was part of the battle, and that it would be ok … and after the phone call, even though I wanted to call another friend to wallow in my misery, I knew that God expected me to come to Him, to appeal to Him, to take my heart break to Him … so I did …

I spent time pouring out my heart. I spent some time praying.  I spent time declaring.  I spent time worshiping. And then I listened … and all I got was to go shopping for the kindy teacher, to give her a decent serve of my bolognaise sauce with some spaghetti pasta and to fill er cupboards with wholesome nourishing food … and a few treats.  I knew she didn’t need me to give her Christian platitudes, or to even offer to pray again … she was angry with me and angry at God because her husband had taken a set back, she was rejecting me, and with me she was rejecting my God and I felt like a failure.

I did what I was told, feeling all the while helpless and frustrated … I felt like I had given them hope and I felt responsible for the let down … I felt responsible for “failing” them … and I knew the kindy teacher felt the same way … she was icy and angry!

I pulled myself together, bought the bits and pieces I felt to buy her and braced myself for the kindy pickup.

I quietly left the package with the teacher, explaining what was in the package of groceries for her, including the bolognaise sauce and spaghetti pasta, I got my son and left … telling her that I would continue to pray, and that I was sad there had been a set back.

The next time I saw her she gave me back my bags with a note, her demeanour completely changed … she said that what I had done was in her view the “most Christian thing anyone could ever do” … she had completely melted … through one act of kindness … through a bag of groceries and a cooked dinner … through an act … through a doing word … through His Love …

I was shocked, but relieved … and it had been God that had give me the solution … no trying to fix it in my own strength was going to work … instead I had to come to Him and listen … so that I could release His desire for her, so that I could hear what she needed … not what I wanted to do … which by this stage was to run!

She said no-one had ever shown her such kindness, and that she believed that what I had done was truly what it was to be a Christian (not that I agree since my father, who was at best agnostic often did acts of kindness for people but it’s what she thought one was) … and all I had done was to show her LOVE as a verb rather than say the word LOVE as a noun … I had shopped, given her some groceries and given her a meal in a challenging and scary time …

There is no way I could have known what an impact that one act would have  … but God knew … and that one act of kindness seemed to open the door of her heart … and you will see, as the next chapter unfolds, that while He used me in Australia he was preparing another in South Africa … where He was lining up lives, situations and people all for the kindy teacher and her husband because …

God is Good!

Hey, you…God is Good!

Anyone that knows me personally knows that my family and I, have been going through a massive transition.  Mostly wonderful, lots of stretching, some challenging … some shaking … but all for good!

In transition it can be difficult (more so for some than others) to not feel completely overwhelmed, especially when the change is sudden and swift.

Looking back, you can see God’s handprint all over it.  Fortunately I had listened to seemingly odd instructions like “don’t pick that one up … let go of that commitment … tell them you are not available (although in the natural you are) … only pick that one up until the end of the year …” My husband has had similar experiences and seasons are now ending for him too … we can see God’s hand print all over it … and although the panic may arise we declare with our mouths that God has it in hand, that He orchestrated all this and He will make a way forward …

None of it’s been bad … in fact it is as a result of walking in God’s favour that such a shift is taking place … you can see His favour all over it … and we know His purposes are in it … yet such changes can be unsettling to say the least …

Last year was also a very tough year for many reasons … and so we came to the end of 2013 looking for some quiet, some peace … we didn’t get it, but break through came … all over the place … starting in late January!

It is in these seasons we can get overwhelmed with the transition, with the shaking, with the chaos, and forget to see His hand in our every day life …

Well … if you look and hold onto His goodness you will find it …

When I was at my lowest about a week and a half ago, I sat on the couch, and was willing myself to get moving, reminding myself that it would all settle.  As I got up and going there was a knock at the door and there standing in my doorway was an angel … a friend who has had such a massive and challenging journey herself in the last three years … She said:

“I just felt I had to come”,

and in her hands were roses and chocolates.

I teared up … knowing she was letting me know I was loved by her and God was letting me know that I was loved by Him … He had sent her, she had heard His prompting, and she responded … the timing was supernatural!

She came in.  We had a tea, we had a chat, and she left … me not just knowing intellectually that God is Good, God is Love but experiencing His goodness … His Love …

A week later, I get a call from the same girl …

“I have made dinner for you and it’s on your doorstep” …

Now please know, her child has been severely ill.  Is hospitalized regularly, and had just undergone surgery … yet she was responding to a God urge to bless me whose entire family is walking in favour and breakthrough.  She regularly celebrates our joy, our break through and our success as if it were her own, knowing that her family’s is coming, she genuinely feeds on the goodness of God in her own life and in other’s lives, knowing that the ultimate breakthrough in healing for daughter is on it’s way …

And the kisses kept coming …

Two friends prophesy at a conference … I bump into loved friends, all of who are a delight to see, and, most recently, a card arrives in the post, from another friend who I have known since I was four, completely out of my church circle, and outside of my local community circle … she said later she knew she had to do what she did … and the card said:

Hey, you.

Yep, you.

The one feeling a little weary.

Carrying that load.

Fighting this battle.

You’re beautiful, you know that?

It’s true.

And you can do this with Him.

With His power.

I know it.

I feel it.

Keep going, girl.

You feel like your strength is small.

But it’s not.

It’s BIG.

World-changing big.

Life-altering big.

Make-it-over-that-mountain big.

BIG enough for you to do what you need to do.

Because your strength is as big as the God in you.

Copyright: Holley Gerth 2011

This one did me in and it made me get very teary.  I read it a lot at the moment.

God knew what I was walking in, and He had told a friend to be His hands, His heart to me … she had taken time shop and to write and to send … she had taken the time to listen to her Father in Heaven and to co-labour with Him … and in her doing so she encouraged a friend unknowingly at a crucial time of challenge and stretch …

I don’t believe He has done all this for me because I go out and do stuff for Him, I believe that He does this for me because I am His most Beloved Daughter … His Beloved Son …

I believe He does this purely and simple because …

God is Good!

A random act of kindness…God is Good!

Last Saturday while I was waiting for my daughter’s ballet class to finish I caught up with a new friend, a friend who has already blessed my life in many ways …

As we finished up, she saw a friend of hers, a woman she had told me about, a woman who was also kind, gentle and gracious.  She said hello to her friend and as she spoke her friend suddenly said with tears …

“Please excuse me, my dog died last night …”

As her friend said this I was filled with compassion for her and nearly started crying too … I feel like a sop when that happens, because I can tear up so easily at times, especially when I am filled with compassion or love or empathy … filled with Him … for another …

I touched her hand … aware that I was a complete stranger and not wanting to “get in her space,” and I gave my condolences …

I said goodbye to my friend, and with another hour and a half to wait, I wondered what I was to do. I asked God, and with a suddenness I knew I had to buy this woman flowers … a ballet mum too … what would she think?!

I started to walk, hoping to find a florist.  I trusted she would still be in the coffee place I had met her in when I got back, thinking how she may find me a bit “odd” to do something like that, but I thought “what can it hurt to give her flowers … to do something kind …? … but still!”

I eventually ended up at one of the train stations in the city, and found my way to a flower stall.  I immediately saw some miniature cyclamens … and I knew I was to buy her the deep pink ones …

“Odd,” I thought, feeling a bit shy about it.  I looked at the other flowers on sale … she seemed so gracious that I thought I should perhaps buy her a potted orchid but I kept being drawn back to the deep pink cyclamens …

I selected the plant I felt God draw me to, bought them and asked for them to be wrapped.

I wandered back past the coffee shop … she wasn’t there …

“Blow, I thought” and decided on my friend’s suggestion (who I had just spoken to on the phone about another matter) to leave them with a person at the ballet school to pass them on …

Still with time to wait I went back to the same coffee shop to sit down outside and have another cup of tea, thinking I may see her again …

I got on with a bit of texting, sipped my tea, and contemplated life, looked at the passers-by, enjoyed the greenery of the trees over the road … and as I did she walked past …

I called out and said a bit awkwardly “… these are for you, I hope you don’t mind, but I felt to get them for you … I just wanted to bless you …”

She looked and cried, tears ran down her cheeks and she told me a little of the story.

I said I had felt to get her the pink cyclamens …

The tears kept running down her cheeks and she said that her little beloved dog’s collar was the same pink, and the dressing gown that belonged to her daughter that her little dog had been buried in, was purple (the cyclamens had touches of purple at their base, and the flowers were wrapped in purple).

Only God!” I thought.

I said I had felt to get her the hot pink … and had thought they may be able to sit on her kitchen table in memory of her dog …

She said “thank you, it’s so kind”

I backed away, not wanting to invade her space in any way … but I said “I just wanted to bless you … I hope it is ok … just a random act of kindness …”

And I wished her well.

We had spoken about more than just that, but the exchange was brief, in that I wanted to really respect her privacy, but I said I would sit for a while longer if she felt like stopping later, but if not, there would be no offence …

And so I finished my tea in the morning sunshine … she didn’t come back, and that was ok … she was too tender….

Regardless … I don’t believe the “coincidence” was lost on her …

I had mentioned praying for her family, but other than that I didn’t mention Jesus, I didn’t pray for her then and there, I didn’t get in her face about anything, including the God coincidence …. I just gave her the flowers that just happened to be the same colour as the collar on her little dog and the gown in her little dog was buried …

Did I feel awkward?

Yes!

But I know when God moves us to do something, it is worth feeling awkward for, it is worth taking the risk and obeying, for you never really know what is gong on in a person’s life … but He does and perhaps through that one act of obedience, that one act of kindness they too will know that …

God is Good!

The Fragrance of Heaven … God is Good!

I was driving back from dropping my son at school.  I often take the route past my daughter’s school, and as I do I pray for the school, the teachers, those in authority, the children, the school community at large … I did so this morning, sensing to drive past and pray, to bless the staff, and as I drove there was one staff member in particular that came to mind …

As I drove closer, I felt Him, I felt his Joy Indescribable, and I had a flash back to earlier this morning of the same staff member hugging a student.  I knew I was to stop on my way, run in and give this person a hug, a big hug, and tell her she was loved, that she was doing a great job.  I had seen her, at drop off, bending down to one of the little ones coming into school, and giving them a cuddle.  At the time I had smiled to myself thinking of the love she was giving out.  I now knew I was to do the same for her, and in fact, as I write, I now recognise that I had felt the desire to run across the road and hug her earlier that morning … perhaps I had missed His first prompt!

I pulled over in the glorious autumn sunshine, ran in, saw another staff member and called out over my shoulder that I just had to give a particular staff member a hug.  I saw the person and said  …

“I need to give you a hug!”

She stood straight up, stepped over her papers, and with her arms open wide she let me hug her.  I said as we hugged:

“You are well loved!  You are doing a great job! I saw you hugging the girls this morning, loving on them, and now God wants me to give YOU a hug!”

We stood and hugged for ages.  Now I must say that hugging is not my “thing” … touch is not my “love language” but when God tells me to hug, I hug, and I know that if I do I get a Love hug too because the love I feel as He pours Himself through, over and around me is amazing … I get touched and saturated in Him as well!  Now, I must say, I loved this hug!  I genuinely love this person.  I feel safe around her, and the joy and love I feel for her is not just Heaven sent, it is genuinely me as well … and so it was His love and joy for her, but mine as well … and so the hug was equally a blessing to me as it was to her!

She stood back, covered in goose bumps and said “oooo that was good, you’re a good hugger … I felt that … look I’m covered in goose bumps”.

I smiled and said “He just wanted you to know you were loved and your doing a great job” and I went to leave saying “have a great day!”

I went to walk past the first staff member I had seen, calling out my cheerio full of the Joy Indescribable that is Him and I felt the overwhelming desire to hug her as well, and so I offered a hug to which she replied:

“I’m always up for a hug”

And she ran over and threw her arms around me and as we hugged she said:

“Oh, you ARE a good hugger!”

I gave her a kiss on the cheek as I hugged her and the other staff member called out:

“It’s a good hug … I’ve got goose bumps all over me … up and down my legs …”

I called out grinning that I loved it too … that like a hose, when you turn it on and let water pour through, you get wet too, the hose gets wet with water too … that as I release Him, I get the His love too … and it’s GOOD … it’s SOOOO GOOD!

I ran out the door into the sunshine feeling Him flowing all around, and through me.  As I drove homewards I realised I could smell their perfume on my coat.  I smiled realising that I too had left a deposit of perfume on them … the Fragrance of Heaven, the Fragrance of Love, and that, like me with their perfume, they would carry His fragrance throughout the day … and in turn they would affect others … it was His fragrance of love, it is so infectious, and they had been imbued with it … as had I … as we had all stood and cuddled each other.

One of them had called, as I ran out the door “I needed that” and I can honestly say that “I needed it too!”

If  we are willing to release His Goodness in whatever form or shape it takes, we are doubly blessed by Him … in fact, I believe, we are more blessed than those who receive!  When we are willing to stop on our way and release His Goodness, His Kindness, in His way … we get wet, we get saturated by Him too … in fact, I think that these words describe it to a tee … and those words are … pure and simple …

God IS Good!

God’s agenda is good…all the time because…God is Good!

I had dropped my 6 year old off at school and was headed home, when I had a fleeting thought that I should head straight up to Bunnings and buy the padlock that we needed for our new lane way gate.

“Odd” I thought, “I’m just around the corner from home” … and in my wisdom I kept driving towards home thinking I would pop back home first to collect a piece of plumbing pipe I had bought there the day before, which I needed to return … but as I checked my plan with God I sensed that “no, I was to go straight to Bunnings now” …

“Odd” I thought again and I drove straight past my home … figuring “what have I got to lose in listening and obeying as I go” … and I wondered who or what I would encounter at Bunnings when I got there …

I found a park, and headed straight into Bunnings, and as I did I saw a friend from church that worked there standing at the door giving directions to customers.  I smiled at P and said “Oh, you must be the reason I am here … a blessing for me to see you …” and I stood smiling at her as we had a brief chat before I headed off for my padlock purchase …

I found what I needed and as I headed to the check out to pay, P caught up to me and suggested I let her buy me a coffee …

I hesitated.  I had so much to do in the day.  I felt so ungracious … but I had an urgent case that I needed to attend to, workmen in my garden, a variety of jobs and a small amount of time to complete it all in … I was already behind my own agenda with this extra stop off for God …

She saw me hesitate and said “no pressure, I know you are so very busy …”

I smiled and said … “no, I’m just checking with the Holy Spirit to see what He says … I am very very busy, but He wants me to stop and have a coffee with you … so I will …thank you!” and I explained what I had on my plate and hence my hesitation, not wanting to offend or hurt her …

We chatted, and it was lovely … I felt blessed to stop for a moment and be with a friend …

With her break time up, we wandered back to the check out, me still to pay for my padlock and she walked back to her post at the door.  I stood and waited to pay for my purchase and as I did I looked at the woman serving me and knew I was to offer to pray …

I stopped after paying and said to her:

“This may sound strange, but I am a Christian and I have an overwhelming sense that I need to offer to pray for you … is there anything that I can pray for you for …?”

The woman looked at me, shook a little and teared up …

“Yes” she said … “there is something you can pray for me for … there is … but I …” and she trailed off …

I knew I was not to push for details, it was private and she was suddenly over whelmed …

I said “Its ok, no need to tell me, God knows the details I will bless you, He knows what you need … which is why He wanted me to ask you if you needed prayer … ”

She nodded and as she assented to me praying someone came up behind me to be served …

I stood back saying that I would wait … and as she finished serving that person … another one came for service … seemingly overlooking the other available checkout station … I stood and waited some more … and as she finished with that one … yet another came … and yet another again …

I stood waiting …

So often it  happens, I offer to pray and suddenly the check out isles  fill with customers … the teller is generally nervous with me waiting and so I know to wait looking relaxed, even if I don’t feel relaxed … and I tend to stand there feeling awkward … but I have learnt to be patient … that the time to pray will come, if I can stand my ground … and fulfil my assignment …

I quietly prayed for an opening, for the ebb of people to slow … and it came …

I walked back over, told her my name and she told me she was called “R”. I took her hand and I prayed.  I prayed a blessing, as I said I would, I prayed favour and I prayed wisdom in the pathways forward (I sensed she needed wisdom) … I prayed that God knew what her needs were and that He would meet them … and as I did, her eyes filled with tears …

There was no profound “knowing” or prophetic words that came to me that pierced her situation … just compassion that I had for her in whatever place she found herself in … she wished to remain private and I honoured that … as did God by not giving me any more insight than what I had, and I knew that me offering to pray, and her accepting the prayer, was enough for the Heavenly hosts to move on her behalf and release God’s goodness into her situation …

I finished, sensing I was to bless her with the Father’s blessing … I was to kiss her forehead … I told her that God was pleased with her, loved her, and she shook some more … and I asked if I could kiss her forehead …

She pulled back a little and shook her head, not daring to look at me, barely holding it together, and again I knew enough not to push  it … and instead I kissed my finger tips and gently placed them on her head and I thanked her for letting me pray.  As I walked away the  next customer came … and I saw her  wipe away some tears as she composed herself for the person she had to serve …

I walked past my friend P who could see what I was doing, who knew what I was doing … she had seen me do it before at Bunnings and in fact she has been doing this sort of thing for years in coffee shops and places she would visit …

I stopped by her side and suggested she watch out for R and we both looked over at R wiping away her tears …

I know that R is in good hands … P will watch out for her, as will God!

I left saying to God … “well that was an interesting morning … I saw a friend, had a tea, and had an encounter waiting for me …thank you” and I smiled at Him feeling my deep love for Him, and feeling His deep love for me … it had been a good morning …

I drove home knowing that had I rushed home instead of going to Bunnings for a padlock; had I not stopped for a cuppa I didn’t have time to stop for … I would have missed R, for she was not on the cashier when I was originally heading out … and P would have missed it to know to watch out for her …

I knew that had I not listened to God but listened to my own logic to collect the plumber’s piping that I needed to return that I may have been side tracked with workmen or other matters at home and I potentially would not have got up to Bunnings at all …

I knew that had I not stopped and listened to the fleeting idea; had I not recognised the fleeting idea as God’s idea, and not my own; had I not checked what God wanted me to do with my time that morning; had I not put my agenda on hold for God’s agenda … I would have definitely missed it … I would have missed seeing a friend, being blessed with a chat and a tea and I would have certainly missed being positioned to release God’s love into someone’s life …

Instead, I am so glad that I did listen, and through practice over time I have learnt to stop and check with God when such inconvenient or strange ideas pops into my head from seemingly nowhere … that sometimes those crazy ideas are not so crazy … but God ideas and that He is inviting us to co-labour with Him to work in the family business …

I have missed it so often … but through missing it and letting Holy Spirit speak to me in loving kindness, to teach and train me, I now miss less than I once did.  I had nothing to lose to follow the prompting I felt … and if I got it wrong, I knew my obedience would still please Him … My audience of One …  even if I was wrong I would have got the padlock that I needed.  So often He has us stop for the one as we go about our business … and because of this willingness to stop and to contemplate an idea that made no sense according to my agenda, I was given the privilege to pray for someone and to co-labour with the Creator of the Universe , and in so following God’s agenda rather than my own R now knows that God cares, God loves her and God is real … she had a real encounter to hold onto, she surely experienced a loving Father and this will show her that …

God is Good!

It was an “all body experience” for her…God is Good!

I was at school drop off with my preppy this morning (my 6-year-old son).

A girl who is a single mum of two asked how my son was getting on and as we chatted and discussed our respective children she mentioned to me that she was still battling the same infection she had been dealing with months before, and that she had now been prescribed cortisol steroids (I think is was …) but still to no avail …

Now I have prayed for her a number of times.  Once early, in the year, when we were all new mums at the school, and her mum was in hospital due to a back problem, I had sat by her side and offered to pray … she replied she was a Moslem but she would like that and so  we sat side by side on the garden edge and I placed my hand on her lower back (where coincidentally her mum had the pain) and released healing into her mum, but into her, in her mum’s stead … and as I had done so she had cried, saying how she could feel something, and that she would go and tell her mum …

She told me later that her mum had recovered very quickly from the back issue and it was due, she said, to the prayers I had said on her mother’s behalf …

Some time later,  her mother had surgery and she had sent me an urgent text asking to see me.  Weeping at school drop off she had said her mum was in hospital could I please pray again … that she knew my prayers were answered and made a difference … that her mum had healed so quickly last time she wanted me to pray for her again …

I did and she cried … and I hugged her … in the morning sunshine …

Well, this morning, I felt Holy Spirit prompt me to pray for her healing and so I offered.  She agreed and I gently placed my hand on her chest where the infection had been, and prayed healing, for Jesus to do what he had done for J last year (see link for story) which was a healing of a persistent chest infection, in the name of Jesus …

She teared up again, and said how she felt something again, how every time I prayed for her she felt something  … that it was (and she wriggled and gestured her arms from her head to her feet) a “total body experience, all enveloping, all over my body” and she said “it happens every time you do that…”

I replied “that’s the Holy Spirit” … “that’s God” …

She threw her arms around me passionately saying “I love you!”

I answered, hugging her back  … “He loves you”

And we made our respective ways …

God has her in His sights … and gives her an “all body experience” each time I pray … and it’s not because I am special or highly anointed or highly favoured … it’s because He wants her to know that He is real, and loves and cares for her … He wants to give her an “all over body experience” … a hug … purely because …

God is Good!

How will they know to ask if you do not show them Whose you are?

I was leaving kindy drop off on 15th August when a sweet girl I have spoken of before (click here for story) stopped me and asked for a moment of my time …

It was freezing cold but the look in her eyes told me of the importance of her request and so I stopped and listened.

She started hesitatingly, telling the story of why she was stopping me …

Her daughter had taken an ambulance ride, she said, and so I heard how her young two-year old had collapsed, had a fit and had been rushed by ambulance to hospital.  A scan was done, and an irregularity discovered in her brain … “epilepsy” was announced as the possible diagnosis … and more tests were advised …

My friend was obviously and understandably shaken, and started to sleep with her daughter, frightened she will fit again …

She told me the story … and shared her fears and as she did I knew she was reaching out to me, not as a friend, but because she knew I prayed … because in the recent past she had been healed by a loving God of a chest infection, she had felt His peace as I had prayed and she knew that God was a possible solution … and so she stepped out and asked … without asking, if I would pray …

I did pray. 

I placed my hand on her daughter’s head and commanded any irregularity to leave, for her daughter to be healed of any issues, and I told her of another friend whose daughter had been scanned and irregularities had been found in the nerves of her back … a possible diagnosis of “multiple sclerosis” had been announced … I told her how the daughter still had symptoms, but how further scans had been done, or rather, re-done, and the scan had come back completely “all clear.”  The doctors continue to search for a diagnosis and explanation for the other symptoms presenting, but the original report showing the nerve damage in the spine, was replaced with a further scan report that had come back all clear …

I told my friend this story … nerve damage identified in one scan … prayer … nerve damage all gone in the next scan … I spoke to her of God’s goodness and she shared some further fears and concerns with me … and as she did I offered her Jesus … I offered her an opportunity to ask Him into her heart … but told her to only do so if it was right for her now …

It was … she was ready … it felt right to her …

So, on the nature strip my friend quietly asked Jesus into her heart and for the Holy Spirit to fill her … she felt it … as did I …

The story is short, sweet and simple … it will be sweeter again with a report that all is well with her daughter, but for now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been released … the Kingdom of Peace, Joy, Health, Love … onto her daughter … and onto and into her mum, my friend …

I ask … unless we ask them if we can pray for them, unless we let them know we believe in a good God and believe He will heal and answer our prayers … how will they know to come to us in crisis and seek help from a loving God?

I dare you to show your Christian colours and reveal a good God … reveal a God that cares … about the big and the little … a God that heals… a God that died for all …

Do you dare … ?

If you do both, we and they will see that …

God is Good!

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