Something very special happened yesterday. And the Lord did it in the most unusual way.
I have always been a bit uncomfortable when the people we are with in a restaurant ask the waitress if she is a Christian when she first walks up to our table. I am equally uncomfortable when people ask the same question of salespeople in a store or a stranger on a bus. I’m not saying they are wrong and I am right or that I am wrong and they are right. I’ve just never been comfortable with the approach.
I’ve always felt that God puts certain people in each of our lives and gives us the privilege of living our lives before them. We are given positions of influence in the lives of people we know. I know that many lead people to the Lord on planes and in lines at the store, but I have always had a burden to make sure those I lead to the Lord are discipled and mentored in the faith.
I once led a woman to the Lord on a plane after she and I had been engaged in lively conversation for a while. I got her address and phone number and called her as soon as we both got home. I found a Spirit-filled church near her and put the folks there in touch with her. I called her and followed up with her for six months following her acceptance of Jesus to make sure she was getting grounded in the faith and discipled in the Lord. Guess it’s just the way the Lord has wired me, but I can’t bear to just have someone say a prayer and then walk out of his or her life.
Which brings me to the special thing Jesus did yesterday. For a little over a year now I have been getting a manicure twice a month as a special treat. Not only have I been blessed with beautiful nails, but the Lord has given me a whole new sphere of influence.
Here is where my hesitancy to jump on people about Jesus comes in. I have shared where I am with the Lord and have shared bits of our testimony with my nail tech. She had a very hard marriage and has been divorced for many years now.
When you have a standing nail appointment you get to know the woman right before you and the one right after you pretty well. A couple months ago a new woman started coming for her appointment right after me. Since we overlap about 20 minutes, we talked and I learned a bit about her life. Divorced several years ago she is still struggling with emotions and hurts. I asked the Lord what I was to share and He told me just to get to know her and to hear her heart.
Yesterday the topic of Tiger Woods came up and both women said they thought his wife should divorce him and take all she could get. Immediately my nail tech said, “But that’s not what you would recommend, is it?” She had heard my heart about marriage healing!
She shared briefly with the other client about our marriage healing and our ministry. Then the client looked at me and asked, “How could you do that? The pain of betrayal is just too much.” And the door opened wide!
I truly believe if we wait for the Holy Spirit’s timing and follow His leading, He takes us to places that are so far beyond what we could personally ever arrange. For several uninterrupted minutes I was able to share the depth of what God had done in my own heart and then in our marriage. I told her, “It was not me. I couldn’t do it, but Jesus could.” With tears in her eyes, she said, “I have known that depth of relationship with Him. I have heard His voice like you said you did.”
There was a noticeable softening in her face and voice as she said, “I used to share Jesus like that at work but no one seemed to understand me. I need to start doing that again.”
There is nothing that thrills my heart more than to see another person activated in their faith and energized in their walk with the Lord. The first week I met this woman she was swearing a blue streak. This week she determined to renew her walk with the Lord and begin sharing His life with others again. Don’t ever underestimate how God wants to influence those He places in your life through your life.
In the end I said to them both, “You never know what God wants to do with your life. Sometimes when we are going through something very painful, we think it is all about our own survival but it isn’t. It is about what God wants to do for others through you.” And today I encourage you with those same words. Love, Marilyn
“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11