And the HolySpirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. ~Romans 8:26
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. ~Galatians 5:25
The church thrift store bustled with activity while Susan, who managed the store, was engaged in making sure everything was running smoothly. The sound of the telephone broke through her thoughts, and Susan picked up the phone and warmly greeted the gentleman on the other end of the line. He was calling to ask if he could bring in a donation of medical equipment. Since the shop houses a medical equipment loan closet, Susan told the gentleman they would be happy to accept his generous donation. She hung up the phone and turned to the volunteers at the front of the store, asking them to notify her when the gentleman with the medical equipment arrived.
This was an unusual request and something she hadn’t done before. Many people called about donations before they came, and many others just stopped by to drop theirs off. Susan didn’t have time to meet all of them, but something nudged her to make time for this particular gentleman. She returned to her tasks and waited for his arrival.
Mr. Green walked in the thrift store carrying an oxygen tank that appeared to weigh him down more than its size would warrant. He looked around the room before slowly approaching one of the volunteers at the cash register. He explained that he had called a little earlier and was bringing in some medical equipment to donate. He fidgeted quietly while the volunteer found Susan to let her know he was here.
“It’s so nice to meet you,” Susan said as she reached out her hand in greeting. “My name is Susan.”
“I’m Mr. Green,” the man said as he quickly shook her hand. “ I brought the equipment I called about.”
Susan led Mr. Green to the shed where the medical equipment was stored, listening to his story as they walked. He began to explain that his son had used the oxygen tank to help him breathe in the days before he died, and seeing it sitting around the house was a painful reminder of his great loss. He needed it out of his sight, and was delighted it could be used by someone else in need. Susan placed the tank in the shed and then paused, turning to look at Mr. Green as he continued to share his story with a quivering voice. Before losing his son to a terrible disease, he had lost a daughter in a car accident. His heart was broken and Susan could see the pain in this kind gentleman’s tear-filled eyes. Mr. Green had opened up freely and Susan listened for as long as he needed to talk. She asked him if she could pray with him, and then put her hand on his shoulder, bowed her head, and asked God to bring peace and healing to this hurting and broken man. They said their good-byes, and as he turned to leave, Mr. Green appeared slighlty taller than when he arrived. Susan returned to her work with a heart overflowing with emotion.
Susan is a kind woman with a heart full of compassion and empathy for others. When the people she encounters are hurting, she hurts with them. Sometimes this makes it difficult for her to keep her own emotions in check when she is helping others who are dealing with difficult and painful trials. She is also new to her faith and doesn’t have much experience sharing it with others, or in praying with someone who is in as much pain as Mr. Green.
Later, Susan’s eyes glistened as she conveyed this experience to me. “I don’t know how I did it. I don’t know how I stayed so strong while Mr. Green shared his grief story. I don’t know how I had the courage to pray for him. I don’t know how I knew what to pray. The words were just there when I needed them.”
I think I know how. She was Spirit-filled and Spirit-led. Susan listened to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, and then allowed the Spirit to lead her through the whole process. She was given Spirit strength to hold back her tears. She was given Spirit courage to boldly witness to this man with the love of Christ. She was given Spirit thoughts to interject into the conversation. And she was given a Spirit prayer when she needed it. She was led by the Holy Spirit, she followed His leading, and I believe she had an impact on Mr. Green that he will never forget.
Have you ever felt led by the Holy Spirit? Did you follow His leading? Imagine what we could do if we allowed ourselves to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led every day.
Be blessed my friends!