The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I joined a couple of pastors from my church in a hospital visit. One of our members was struggling with a flair-up from a chronic disease. We found the room and spent about fifteen minutes talking and praying with him. He was in good spirits.
An Elevator Encounter
When we left, we were joined in the elevator by another hospital patient. It was clear that he had recently undergone serious surgery. About halfway down, one of the pastors asked, “How can we pray for you?”
“Acceptance. I need to accept what is happening to me.”
We asked about his story and he told us that he had come to the hospital three weeks ago with an infection. He had recently had a limb amputated and was worried about how to get back into a healthy life.
“I think I am mad at God.” He told us. Then, with tears in his eyes, he said, “I think that is the first time I have admitted that.”
We talked to him about the Psalms and about using the words of the psalmist to pray his frustrations back to God. We talked about hope, and we even shared personal testimonies of God’s grace in the middle of trials.
We shared the gospel with him, and then we each prayed for him. He told us that he’d grown up in the church but had drifted away. We challenged him to seek the Lord and allow Him to give strength and hope. That evening, we spent about fifteen minutes with the church member we went to see and about 45 minutes with a man we hadn’t intended to meet.
On the drive home, someone commented: “I don’t think God sent us to the hospital to visit with a church member.”
God’s Unexpected Work
As we seek to live on mission, it is amazing how God will shape our lives and place us directly in the path of a man or a woman who needs to know about the hope that we possess in Jesus. It happens when we least expect it. It often results from simple questions like, “Can I pray for you?”
Here is a challenge: Begin each day praying, “Lord, I want to be used today to help someone meet you. Use me to do your will. Please give me the eyes to see the opportunity and the courage to take it.”
Throughout your day, look for God’s hand. Ask yourself three questions:
- Is anyone around me asking God-sized questions? Or is anyone talking about God at all?
- Is anyone around me talking about brokenness in their lives that is creating hopelessness?
- Is anyone around me experiencing blessings that challenge them to look beyond this world for the source?
Answer any of these questions, “Yes,” and you might discover that God is answering your prayer. Like we did in the hospital that day, you may find out that the reason the Lord has put you where you are is to work through you in ways you may not expect.