Today was a typical day. I decided to go for a walk with my mom and my four year old son Jude. We decided to go a little longer route to a playground near my parents home. About twenty minutes into our walk, a young woman jogged up beside us and stopped. She said, “Hi, my name is Anna. I was just doing my quiet time with God and He told me to go on a jog, and to ask you if you need me to pray about anything for you.” My mom and I looked at each other, ready to burst out into tears. She said, “I don’t even like running, I just felt like God was telling me to go and do it.” What Anna didn’t know before she went out on that run is that my brother has recently been told by doctors that he only has six months to live, after having battled stage four colon cancer for nearly four years. What she didn’t know is how over the last month I had been suffering from stomach problems, caused from anxiety. What she didn’t know was our previous life losses, of my other brother John, and my son, Joshua. She didn’t know, but God did. She told us three or four times, “God loves you so so much.” Her small act of obedience, small yet courageous, told my mom and I that God loves us, not just as a human race, but personally and He is with us through this all. It can feel like sometimes we are just talking to the sky and wondering if God really is there listening. We can even trivialize our own pain by reminding ourselves that this isn’t something new, people suffer all over the world every single day in unimaginable ways. But instances like this, it reminds me that God is there, and that is more than enough. She prayed for healing over my brother’s body, healing for my anxiety and that God would use our family in the community. Honestly though, it wouldn’t have mattered what she prayed, because in that moment I knew I was seen by God, he saw my pain and it mattered to Him. In that same moment, when I felt so incredibly loved by God, I thought, this is how God feels about every single person on this earth. He loves each one of us so personally, beautifully, and intensely. He cares about each person’s hurts, traumas and pains. He doesn’t compare them to each other or tell us to just suck it up. He sits with us in our pain, in our grief, in our disappointments.
I always talk about small acts of kindness, but also, what about small acts of obedience. It made me wonder how many times God’s spirit had prompted me, and I just ignored it or I frankly said no because it made me feel uncomfortable. This woman was taking a risk, going outside of her comfort zone and because of that, my family was filled with comfort and with something to hang onto when the going gets hard, and unless my brother does indeed get a miracle, the next year will be hard. Moments like today, they are rare, and they are precious. I hope anyone reading this right now feels encouraged, in two ways. First, that God loves you more than you can possibly imagine, and He’s working, He’s there, even when you can’t feel Him. Second, I encourage you to pray for opportunities to obey the spirit’s urgings in your own lives. If we just take the time to get a little bit uncomfortable, we may be bringing someone else the comfort they need to persevere in the fight.