Friday, November 19, 2010

God Speaks Through Cashiers

You want to know what I hate? Probably not, but unfortunately, I'm going to tell you anyway. I absolutely HATE when I feel like what I'm doing is the right thing, but it winds up being the absolutely last thing I should be doing. It is a miserable feeling to look back and see all of the "wrong" when you were blindly going your way. You'd think that at my age (which is still relatively young ... if you're a tree or a fine wine), I'd recognize that kind of stuff by now. But just this week, I was reminded vividly of how far I still have to go.

And, of course, that just devastated me. Honestly, my intentions were good. I was trying to do the right thing. But, it was all in my power. There's the give-away -- MY power. I had been experiencing a struggle and was trying to work through it on my own, doing what I felt was best. I had prayed about it, but obviously hadn't released it to the Father and was still working as mightily as I could to "fix" it.  God was faithful to bring me up short and remind me that what I "feel" and "think" aren't necessarily what is right and true ... and yes, I hate that. I hate the fact that I continue to mess up over and over and over and over (you get the idea, right?).

It was a routine trip to Wal-Mart. As I was standing in the grocery store line, watching the bill add up for the 5 people living in this house, I guess my face was like an open book. The cashier, who is one of my favorites there and I always try to get in her line, was chatting as she was ringing up the groceries. Suddenly, she stopped and said, "Is everything okay? You seem like something is wrong." Well, I certainly wasn't going to go in to all of life's drama with the cashier at Wal-Mart, so I very politely lied (yes, I lied) and said, "No, everything's fine. I'm just preoccupied and busy, I guess." So, I made it a point to chat her up a little bit more, like I usually do, just to prove my point that I was, in fact, "fine". As I was leaving, however, she said to me, "I just want you to know that God is in control ... and He loves you very much." I stammered a thank you to her, and then hurried out of the store as quickly as I could so she couldn't see me dissolve in tears. I very definitely appreciated her kind word ... but even more, I appreciated the fact that God used her to encourage me as He continues to teach me a hard life's lesson.

The cashier may never know how she ministered to me this morning (I just might tell her one of these days if I could manage to do it without crying!). But I felt like she was literally God's mouthpiece to me -- to encourage me to hang in there, to remind me of His love despite my failings, and to assure me of His sovereign power and control. Even in the middle of a difficult circumstance, God took the time to reach out to me, all through a sweet lady working at Wal-Mart ... and THAT I love!

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