Love Jesus. Do life. Write about what I learn. Let's get messy in mixed media arts and crafty things. I'm a wife, mom, grandma, sister, friend. I feed birds, take pictures of things others don't notice, bake and cook, garden, and pray. Limited release: Morning Meditations From Marina's Kitchen Table, A Devotional Memoir. Affiliate Links used on blog.
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Meeting in the Meadow: A Serendipitous Obedience, by Laurie Marie Hopper (Guest Post)
The following story by Laurie Marie Hopper, is based upon a message I wrote for
DaySpring over fifteen years ago. This account is humorous in places, but it is also a
reminder to us of the power of prayer and the way the Holy Spirit works to
touch the hearts of others. -Roy
Being the mother of four active boys has filled my life with
a myriad of experiences, some more exciting than others. Since they all four
have gone to the same high school, I've almost worn the pavement down on the
road over the last eight years taking them to and from school.
Day after day, I began to notice this one particular man, a
tall, older, distinguished looking gentleman. Every morning, there he was
walking with his lunch bag in hand and a lanyard I.D. tag hanging from his
neck. I naturally assumed he was walking to work.
One special morning I heard God's still small voice on the
inside of my heart telling me to pray for the man. I snorted," Lord! I
don't even know that man! How could I pray for him?" The gentle voice
replied, "You see him every day! Why don't you make a difference in his
life instead of just blowing past him? Be aware of the people who cross your
path on a daily basis. Reach out to them." The next day the same thing.
Now, I have had a relationship with God for 36 years. And in that 36 years I
have learned to hear God's voice the hard way. Funny, the more time I spend
with God the more sensitive I am to Him when He talks to me. Kind of like the
saying "The harder I work the luckier I get" type of thing. Anyway, I
obeyed, and I began to pray for him every morning when I saw him.
I would pray for God to bless him and his family, for God to
give him a good day. I would pray for his health and his job. I began to pray
that God would help him with any problems he might be having and for God to
fill his life with love and meaning. Well, this went on month after month. Were
my prayers making a difference in his life? Was my obedience in praying for him
making a difference in mine?
Now, I have the best job in the whole world. I am the head
of the greeting card department at Berean Christian Store in Bakersfield,
California. I get to talk about God all day long at my job. I get to pray with
people, listen to Christian music, and be surrounded by godly literature. Who
could ask for anything better?
As in all retail business, working with the public has its
challenges- Christian or non. One day I was having a particularly
difficult time of it and as I was putting up my greeting card order I kept
coming across Roy Lessin's poem titled "Just Think.” It seemed that
everywhere I looked on this day that poem was there: On a plaque, on a journal,
in framed wall art. I thought to myself, "Come on, Roy, get a new poem now
and again. Let's get some new material going here!"
I'm usually not a negative or complaining person, but for
some reason I was irritated that this poem was just EVERYWHERE! Not ten minutes
later a well-dressed couple walked into the store. I greeted them with a
smile...and low and behold...it was the man that I prayed for every morning!!
You know, you just can't pray for someone as much as I prayed for him and not
feel a connection. My spirit leaped within me. I said, "Is there anything
I can help you with?" He and his wife replied rather stoically, "We
are just here to get a card for our daughter. She just had a baby and there
were some complications." I said, "Oh! Okay. Just let me know if you
As they began to look at the baby cards, I could not help
but overhear because I was putting up product just a few feet away. They read a
few cards out loud together, talking in hushed tones. Then they began to read a
baby card with the poem (you guessed it) “Just Think” on it. As they began to
read this card, they both started to softly cry. Then the words they read began
to be broken with sobs in between. Before long, they were both weeping. I was
so moved with compassion for this hurting Grandpa and Grandma, and they had no
idea who I was or that I had been praying for them for many months! I couldn’t
help myself. With tears in my eyes, I wrapped that little woman in my arms and
began to pray for her, the daughter, and the baby who were obviously so very
precious to them. She sobbed in my arms as I prayed.
The gentleman had been so overcome with emotion that he
pulled out his handkerchief and went to a nearby corner of the store to
try to compose himself. The Lord helped me to pray a prayer that encouraged and
uplifted them. He put just the right words in my mouth that day. They wiped the
tears from their eyes and said,” Thank you! This card says it all for us! Thank
you for praying for us!”
And just as quickly as they came in, they were gone. I was
left standing there with the most awe-struck feeling. What just happened?
God came down and touched my world!
What did I learn that day? So many things!! Like, some
things are TIMELESS. For instance, an old poem that was written years ago under
God’s power and anointing can, and is, still touching lives today. Similar to
the Bible, God continues to encourage and motivate man through the written
word. God’s insights are fresh and new, no matter when they were written! The
power of words, especially when they are inspired by God.
I also learned that God has His reasons when He asks you to
do something. I’ve come to realize, over time, that He has my best interest at
heart. His instructions may seem insignificant, but if you will obey Him and do
what He says, He will make something surprisingly beautiful (serendipitous!)
out of your obedience. Like me, maybe you will get to help someone in their
time of need. Or, the tables could be turned, and you will be the someone in
need who is greatly helped by the one who is being obedient to the whisper
I continue to drive two of my sons to high school every day and
I still see that man walking to work. You can bet that every time he is seen, I
habitually pray for him and his family. He probably will never know who I am,
and that’s okay. The satisfaction of being obedient and knowing why ... so I
could be a help and an encouragement, is enough to warm my heart and prepare me
for my next adventure with God.
I've been really busy, and not busy enough. My heart has been breaking in unexpected places the past few months...friends passing away unexpectedly, illnesses attacking loved ones, me missing kids and grandkids, and not wanting to feel nostalgic for all the sadness around my heart right now. I feel tender and raw...vulnerable. I cry at the drop of a hat, even over silly things, like TALKING about not watching a movie that would make me cry...not even watching that movie. Just talking about it. Oh dear! I did want to touch base though as we approach Christmas...all the sadness is making me draw even nearer to Jesus, because He is my hope (and the hope of the world). I've enjoyed my time of Advent, singing in the choir at church, baking cookies for friends and neighbors. It helps me to shift gears emotionally and mentally when I can change it up a bit and do something new. And in God's goodness, He is allowing us to do something new for Christmas! I'll share the detai
Just a short note to remind you that I’m easing off of posting here, and posting MORE over at the new site, MarinaJBromley . Today I happened to have two posts go live (one on my blog, and one over at Balanced and Beautiful in Christ) on Forgiveness. May you be blessed! M
The new posts that I wrote for Balanced and Beautiful in Christ are now live on their Facebook page, and here on my new blog site (subscribe there so you don't miss a thing!). It's been a crazy few weeks (ok...are we going on several months now??) but I'm grateful that God had me write (and schedule) these several weeks ago. I pray that the words bless you and draw you closer to Himself. Blessings, marina