Say what?

Have you ever had God ask you to do something that feels a bit “out there?” I had this experience recently. I was sitting in front of the computer reading through the email from the Sunday school class I attend, praying through the requests. I came across a request for A. who recently tried to commit suicide. The Holy Spirit impressed on me to deliver a message to A. “A message God? What message?”

“Tell him I love him and care about him. Tell him life is worth living,” was the reply.

I just sat there thinking through what God was saying and asking, “How in the world am I supposed to do that?” All I had was a first name and a place of employment. I didn’t even know if he was still working there or if he would even be at work if I went down there. I said, “Ok God what am I supposed to do? Run down to Costco and find some guy named A. and tell him God sent me to deliver a message? What if there’s more than one employee named A.?”

All God said was, “Deliver the message.”

I felt really uncomfortable with this. I didn’t know this guy from Adam, and I was supposed to give him a message. I continued praying for a few days asking God how to do this. I called the person who requested prayer for this guy and they didn’t know if he still worked at Costco nor did they know his last name. So all I had to go on was A. from Costco and I was supposed to deliver a message.

I still wasn’t sure how to do this and since Costco employees could have varying shifts I had no idea how I was going to find A. Then the Lord reminded me of a story I had written called A Tempered Hope.  (If you click on “My Writing” in the categories section of this blog, you’ll find this story.) It was inspired by a dark time in my own life when I didn’t want to live. I never went as far as A. in actually trying to do myself in. I hadn’t even considered actually killing myself, but I remember writing in my journal that I didn’t want to live anymore. “Maybe this story will encourage him,” I thought.

I printed off a copy, wrote a cover letter telling A. who I was, why I was giving him this story, and directing him to the pastors at my church if he wanted someone to talk to. The sealed envelope sat in my car for days. Every morning I’d see it and say, “Darn, I need to get that thing to Costco.” But with school starting and my life feeling upside down, I kept putting it off. This afternoon I was driving by Costco on my way to pick up my daughter from dance class. I was going to get there about 10 minutes before class was out so I had some spare time. God said, “Stop in there.”

So I made a quick right and parked in the lot. Grabbing the envelope I scrawled A.’s name across the front and headed in. I flashed my membership card at the door and asked to see a manager. I kept thinking, “What if this manager thinks I’m looney? I mean how many people deliver envelopes to employees they don’t even know?”

The manager was really nice. I introduced myself and where I went to church. I told him that someone had requested prayer for A., an employee there who was going through a hard time in his life. I said I didn’t know his last name, but had something to give to him. The manager said that A. wasn’t in the building and was in fact on leave right now so he wasn’t sure how long it would be before he could give it to him. I then told the manager that inside was a letter from me with my personal contact information as well as a story about a dark period in my own life that might offer some encouragement to A. He suddenly brightened up, shook my hand, and said thank you. He said he would see that A. gets the envelope.

You know, it may not seem like a risk to some, but for me, I took a risk today. At first I thought, “I don’t want to look like a weirdo or someone to think I’m some whack-job.” But later my thought was, “If A. comes to know God, then it’s all worth it. If looking like a weirdo means someone finds salvation, then I should be willing to be a weirdo every day.”

I don’t know what the outcome will be or if I’ll ever hear from A., but as I left the parking lot I prayed for God’s anointing on that letter and that story. I asked God to see that A. gets it and to use it to minister hope to his life.  I’m glad I obeyed the Lord. It might make the difference between life and death for another human being.


5 thoughts on “Say what?

  1. I felt the Lord so strongly as I read this today. I had a similar experience yesterday, sent a message by Facebook to someone who is cold towards the Lord. You’re so right, what have we to lose to step out of our comfort zone.
    You have once again inspired and blessed me.

  2. Lisha, thanks for sharing this story. Your story is such an encouragement to me to not be afraid to step out in obedience in uncomfortable and unknown situations. This is an area that I think the Lord is working with me on. Yesterday, I took a baby step in following an urging from God to do something outside my comfort zone. After I did it, I felt peace about it, but getting the nerve to do it stretched me in a new (but good) way. :0)

  3. I’ve been praying for A since his name came up on the prayer list. I’ve watched name tags at Costco when I’ve gone to shop. I’m so glad you followed through with what God asked. Too me that would have felt very much that I was putting myself out there. I’m encouraged that the manager seemed willing to pass it on to A. I’ll keep praying for him and now will pray for your message to him also.

  4. I can relate to the awkward feeling of sharing a story with someone you don’t even know, in the hopes that it will encourage him/her. One verse that has been a help to me on more than one occasion is:

    “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 (NIV)

    I’m definitely a work in progress regarding this subject, but I find it helpful to remember that, while God understands my fears, the fears themselves did not come from Him. God can give us boldness to speak for Him and/or show faithfulness to our friends. Our frail human nature might feel fear or anxiety, but God can cast out that fear.

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