Do you ever have plans and then your plans change?
I planned to attend an event this morning but it did not work out. My son is a trucker and needed me to drop him off at his truck so he could get back to work. After dropping him off, I decided to run by Sam’s to pick up a few needed items.
As I was leaving Sam’s a man, who later told me his name was Sid, asked if he could take my cart. He saw me loading my car and was kind enough to help me out and take the cart for me. Of course, I thanked him and then he began talking.
At first it was small talk then quickly moved to the death of his wife last August. He told me she died of cancer and he tried to revive her but this time it didn’t work. He had revived her two times previously.
Here is the rest of conversation.
Me: I’m so sorry for your great loss.
Sid: Thank you. Why does God make bad things happen?
Me: I do not believe God makes bad things happen but allows them. I don’t understand why but I believe God is good no matter our circumstances. I also believe that God could use bad things to draw us closer to Him which is a good thing. God is good and nothing bad can come from Him.
Sid: That makes sense. I don’t know why I’m telling you about my wife and why I’m breaking down. I haven’t shared this with a lot of people, but my wife was the love of my life and we were married 37 years. I sure miss her.
Me: It’s okay. I watched my dad after my mom died and I sort of understand what you are going through. My parents were married 40 years. My mom died at age 58 and he lived another 15 years after her death. He would say that she was the love of his life. I think there are some people we will miss the rest of our lives and I believe it’s really important to know Jesus with our heart and not just with our head.
Sid: I know Jesus. Why do some people claim to know Jesus but don’t act like it?
Me: A great question. We all mess up and that’s why we need Jesus.
Sid: I agree, and Jesus knew what it’s like to be human.
Me: You are exactly right! I have been watching a show called, The Chosen. It’s completely free online and has helped me see Jesus as much more than my Savior.
Sid: I will have to check it out! I see why God put you in my path today. Thanks for talking with me.
We said our good-byes and went on our way.
I started thinking on the way home. I am so grateful for my encounter with Sid today. Sometimes God is in your changed plans more than you realize. To be honest, I have not felt very usable to God lately and maybe you feel the same way?
I really messed up a relationship last year and caused it to sever due to my harsh words. A person can cause a lot of harm with an untamed tongue and I know it all too well. Lately, I have felt paralyzed and not able to move forward. I think James knew a little about this too because he devoted chapter 3 to controlling the tongue. No matter what my heart intended, my words didn’t properly reflect my heart.
God has been showing me lately that He uses those of us who mess up. Every person in the Bible was a hot mess from time to time. Jesus was compassionate, loving, and forgiving. He helped people see their sin, repent, and go on to make a difference for His kingdom.
I’m no longer going to let my past mistakes have a hold on me. I’ve asked for forgiveness from all the right sources and know I’m forgiven. I will no longer let the enemy have a stronghold in a place where grace has taken it’s rightful place. And I hope God will continue to open my eyes to see opportunities before me to help others and pray the same for you. After all, we are here for a reason so let’s live like it!