It was a Saturday morning, and I was being spontaneous. Rather than cooking breakfast, I had decided to surprise my family with donuts. So, I rolled out of bed, threw my probably unbrushed hair up, and drove to a local grocery store. Because it was early in the morning, I was betting on the fact that I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. In my rush to get back and present the donuts to my hungry boys, I hadn’t taken time to make myself look presentable. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth. This was going to be a fast mission: get in and out of the grocery store and back home to my hungry boys.
My mission was almost accomplished, when I noticed an older lady standing in front of me at the checkout line. Unfortunately, she seemed friendly and open to conversation. I purposefully did not make eye contact, hoping to avoid all opportunity for chatting. Then, I made the mistake of looking up. She jumped at the opportunity:
“That color looks lovely on you,” she said.
I cringed a little. There I was trying to be inconspicuous with my un-put-together self, and she had noticed me anyway. I responded, “Thank you.” From there we chatted about the contents of her grocery order. Then the conversation took a turn, as she shared that because her husband had dementia she rarely left the house, except to buy groceries.
In that moment, my priorities shifted. No longer feeling inconvenienced, my heart was full of compassion. These, as I have come to know them, are God-ordained moments. She was aching with loneliness and desperately in need of eye contact and conversation. Besides me, she might not get to talk to anyone else for the rest of the day. I spoke with her for a few more minutes as her groceries were being checked out, and then we parted ways. I prayed for her and thought about the encounter on the way home. Our conversation had blessed her, but I realized that it had also blessed me.
In focusing on my own agenda and my own self-consciousness about my state of disarray, I had almost missed a divine moment. The thing is, I probably miss them all the time. I’ll admit, I’m often distracted, thinking about other things, or looking at my phone. Then, sometimes, the Lord nudges me out of my own musings into an unexpected blessing.
Isn’t He merciful? He blesses us and equips us for every encounter He brings our way.
The encounter in the grocery store did not require an extensive resume of skill. Apparently, it didn’t even require great hygiene. It required time, eye contact, and the willingness to be present, even for a few moments. However, other opportunities the Lord brings our way may take more time, skill, and work. Regardless, the verse above promises that He blesses us abundantly and will, at all times, give us what we need to abound in the good works He has called us to do. Now, that is a reassuring promise!
Pause: Take a deep breath and find a comfortable position. Read over 2 Corinthians 9:8 (above) a few times. Maybe even read it aloud. What stands out to you about that verse?
Renew: Take a few moments to reflect on a time in your life that the Lord presented you with an opportunity, small or large, that turned out to be an unexpected blessing. How did He equip you and bless you through that opportunity?
Next: As you go throughout your day, pray that the Lord would give you eyes to see opportunities and blessings. Then, wait to see what happens as your day progresses. Write down any stories that unfold throughout the day.
May we have eyes to see the Lord’s unexpected blessings in our lives!
Pause, Renew, Next!