Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
My name is Ruth Strait, and I am a faithful servant to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is my goal that when I go out, it is to speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who listen, and to pause, converse and pray with and for people, no matter where I am.
It was a Sunday afternoon, I wasn't feeling the best, but felt the Holy Spirit was urging me, leading me to go and do my errands anyway. I have learned that when I feel that strong urgency to go, I must be obedient, or the blessings will be missed. So... I went.
The store was packed as it was a popular time of day for folks to stock up for the days ahead, filling their buggies with the items needed. I live in a tourist town with lots of vacationers and know that Sunday afternoons usually are not the ideal time for locals to go shopping. Clerks were hard to find as they were busy with customers and trying to keep up with restocking their shelves due to customer demand. I found what I needed and headed towards the check-out lanes. Once through the line, that’s when I saw her sitting, leaning over with her head down on the front of one of the store’s power scooters. I wasn’t sure if she was sleeping or what, so I stopped and said "Ma’am, God bless you. Are you okay?" Jackie picked her head up slowly, gave me a tired smile and said "Yes, I’m waiting for my husband. I'm just tired, so very tired!" She truly looked the part, that look on her face of being run down, her eyes a bit red and teary, a look of being truly worn and weary. It seemed like there was quite a story to tell. We started talking and as we got deeper into our conversation, she first told me that she loved Jesus, then told me her story of why she was so tired. There were several grandchildren she was taking care of and was having to drive many miles all over the city daily, taking them here and there to where they needed to be. On top of that, she was helping her son. He was facing some troubles with the law. She stated that he wasn’t the troublemaker some people said he was. He was awaiting his day in court and was fortunate enough to be able to stay with her until then. She continued on, telling me of his weight loss journey and how hard he was trying to reach his goal. You could see in her tired eyes how proud she was of him.
When she finished speaking, I spoke Matthew 11:28-30 to her, how we can go to Him and get true rest from Him. She said that she knew His rest, how light His load is and thanked me for the reminder. I asked her if I could pray for her and without hesitation she said "Oh, yes please. Would you really do that here, now? With all these people here?" (Believe me when I say that the store was jam packed, it was “elbow room only” packed.) “Yes, of course I’ll pray right now!” So, we prayed without delay. Folks rushing by, some staring, others smirking and making snide remarks, while one or two paused briefly. That didn't stop me from praying nor did it stop her praying for me. We parted ways, both with smiles and with an infilling that only the Holy Spirit could do. As I went my way, I silently thanked God for leading me to Jackie and noticed that I was feeling better and praised Him for that too. It’s amazing how God works in that way. I went in not feeling the best and left feeling so good and filled.
Today and every day, may we always be prayerful and expectant as the Holy Spirit guides us onward to the who, what, where, when, why, and how of life.We can seek His guidance, counsel, and direction then act upon what He says to do. It is about obedience to Him. We can always remember to thank Him for the opportunity to love and serve Him in the way He has given us. Today, it is my prayer that as opportunities arise, that each of us will go forth daily – boldly speaking the Gospel, praying for and encouraging those around us, and proclaiming to them God’s amazing, Agape love.
Let us pray . . .
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