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“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” (Jonah 3:1)
I am part of the single women’s group at my church. We have a Potluck in the Parlor on the second Sunday of each month. The week before one of these luncheons, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking how women are inclined to pray for their brother, their sister, their parents, their children, their friends. Most of us are prayer warriors and happy to be. But God kept drumming through my brain we are so busy praying for others, we forget to pray for ourselves.
We believe God knows our heart so why ask out loud for our desires? I started to wonder, are our needs more insignificant than those of others? God gave me the idea that at the luncheon I should ask every woman what prayer she needed for herself—not for the family, friend or pet. During that week, I felt like I was living out Jonah 3:1, “…the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” Only for me it was a second, third, and forth time. The urge came strong.
But my doubt crept in. I thought, “It’s such a simple thing, did I hear Him or was it some silly nighttime thought?” But His voice kept saying, “Just do it.”
The day of our lunch arrived and I still found my flesh doubting His call but with the strong, continuous call, I felt I had to follow the command. Towards the end of the potluck, in a lull of silence, there came an opportunity. I spoke up and explained what God placed on my heart. I received nodding heads when I said that women often pray and do for everyone else and neglect to themselves. The request was for each woman to share something she needed prayer for, something for herself.
I noticed that two of the women were misty-eyed so I started the sharing at the opposite side of the group. One by one, each woman shared a personal need. It quickly became obvious that God had a plan; I was only the instrument. When one of the teary-eyed women took her turn, she blurted out, “This is an answer to my prayer.”
Relief flooded my heart. I did what God asked in spite of my doubts and now I knew why. These specific women needed to share something personal with their sisters in Christ. At the end of sharing time, one of the teary women told me that all week she had needed to share her issue with someone. She had been thinking she would ask me for a minute after the luncheon. But instead, God meant for her to share with everyone in the group. Her issue was something two of the other women had experienced. I had not. If she had shared with me only, I wouldn’t have offered the sound counsel that these other woman gave.
We had a blessed time of sharing, giving sound advice, and lots of encouragement. I thought it was just a simple thing, but God’s plan is always sublime. It was a solid reminder to me that if the Holy Spirit talks, I need to listen and obey, and not doubt and turn away. I shudder to think of the blessings that would have been missed if I’d not done what He asked.
Father in Heaven, Incline my ear to listen for Your voice. When You speak, let me respond with the words of Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” I don’t want to miss out on the blessings You want to do, for me and through me. May I be quick to listen, and quick to act. Protect me from doubts so that I may serve You better. Amen
Question: Do you recall a time when you felt nudged and discovered it wasn’t for your benefit, but for His plan?