THE TRAVEL LOG | Delay or Destiny?
Updated: Apr 14
TRAVEL LOG: "A God of DESTINY" || March 2022 || Enjoy the real life, day-to-day travels in the life of Equip Evangelist, Rev. Ruth Strait 🙂
Delays! URGH! We all have them and how we respond is quite telling. Having delays however may be God’s divine opportunity. Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
My name is Ruth and have the calling of an Evangelist. It is my dedicated service to God to spread His Good News to any and all who will listen. Talking with people is something I love to do and will do so at every chance given.
This day, my morning started off as usual, up early, cup of coffee and quiet prayer and worship time with God. As someone who intentionally desires to share God with others, I always ask for God’s wisdom, boldness, and for Holy Spirit to guide me where to go. This day, I specifically asked God to direct me to someone in need of encouragement. Little did I know that my delay would cross paths with His God-Designed plan this day - for Caroline.
As I started my day off, I found that traffic was backed up bumper to bumper. Patience… deep breath in…. deep breath out … as traffic crawled. What normally would have taken me 15 minutes or so to get to my desired destination, took over 45 minutes. I finally got to my destination – a well-trafficked local theme park where I normally went for exercise and to walk my allotted daily steps. As I walked, I watched the many people around me. This day however, I decided to go a different route of walking altogether, instead of my “normal” path. So unlike me, I set off in an opposite direction.
As I went along, I noticed an employee standing there looking around like she was expecting someone or something to happen. Out of nowhere, I felt led by Holy Spirit to reach out and engage her with a “thank you for all you do” moment as I conveyed how much I appreciated her hard work. Caroline was her name and she was a custodian there. Among the hustle and bustle daily of the thousands of patrons who visit, many times I notice that the custodial staff keep to the background, not as readily visible as a frontrunner to customer service. Caroline said hello back to me and as our conversation got more involved, she expressed to me that she doesn’t usually work the area where we were but said she felt the need to walk over to that particular area and wait. She said she didn’t know why, just to “walk there and wait.” Instantly, she began telling me of how she suffered from a social anxiety disorder and that she rarely, randomly ever talks to anyone. As we talked, Caroline told me that she had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and the pain level was often so very high and debilitating that it made it difficult for her to walk and move around. However, she said she found comfort amidst the backdrop of the crowds which kept her mind from focusing on the constant pain she was in. The deeper our conversation got, the more she opened up to me, as she described in detail, the major depression she fought daily, and how at one time, she was addicted to various pain medicines.
After she told me her story, I shared with her my testimony of how I was in an accident, had experienced numerous surgeries, and found I too had struggled with PTSD and chronic pain that affected me daily. I expressed to her how God had been my source and that He had seen me through the darkest of days and the worst of pain. I told her that I truly understood the depths of her pain and suffering. Then, I asked her if I could pray for her. With a HUGE smile on her face, her eyes lit up as she gave me a resounding “yes” and that she didn’t care who was watching!” She wanted to be prayed for right then and there. Together we prayed for her healing, and she said that she had never had anyone approach her like I did, to talk with her, pray for her so boldly and publicly as that! Together, we prayed for her healing and comfort, uniting in faith that she would be healed and to keep trusting in God. When we finished praying, she invited me to look for her anytime I was in the park as she was very thankful that God led me to her.
Onward Caroline went with her day . . . me with mine but together we were united in the faith and hope God held for us both. Many times, like this one, I truly feel that God appoints and assigns divine meeting opportunities – whether through delay, detour, or inconvenience. Pausing in reflection, if I had been impatient with the delays before me and done my own thing (like turn around and go home), I would have not shared such a precious opportunity to encourage Caroline. As I pray today, it is my prayer that God use you as well as He guides and directs you through your strategic appointments along the way. He used me to encourage Caroline, where both she and I found a moment of strength and hope together, and I now am also blessed to have made a newfound friendship. Caroline felt led to go outside where she normally goes, and I felt led to take a different path than I usually do. When the feeling arises to do something that may seem a little crazy, a bit different for you, would you take a moment to consider that there could be a blessing right around the corner for you as well?
There is hope in knowing we are not alone and that we can travel the journey of life together. I pray you too would be blessed by random acts that enable you to take time to listen to someone’s story, be present, and then respond in a simple and practical way to engage. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that people just want to be listened to, and be heard. They want to know that someone cares.
That’s when I can say, “Jesus loves you, He cares for you. Let me tell you why.”
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