Grocery Store Encounter

It was getting late one afternoon, and I suddenly came face to face with a problem. We had four, five-gallon water jugs for our water cooler, and they were all empty. So I loaded them into the trunk and headed out to the grocery store to fill them up.

The water system was set up just inside the grocery store. I made my way over and began the tedious process of filling the jugs. Everything was going fine, and I was about halfway done when a man that I instantly recognized walked by me, heading for the exit.

An older man, he was a good friend from a church I used to attend. It had been a few years since I had seen him. I remembered that the desire of this man’s heart had always been for the Lord. We’d had our disagreements on different things, but his love for God was completely obvious to me. He was someone I admired.

Even though I hadn’t seen him for quite some time, I recognized that something was different. He looked worn out and weighed down. I called his name, and he turned. He saw me, and a tired smile spread across his face as he shook my hand and asked how I was. We made small talk for a few minutes and caught up a little. As we talked the Holy Spirit was moving in my heart and giving me insight into the current condition of my friend. I remembered him being a source of encouragement and joy, but the Lord was showing me that the joy had been stolen, allowing hopelessness and discouragement in.

I was still trying to discern what God wanted me to do when our conversation came to an end. My friend said good-bye and walked out the door. Instantly I heard voice of the Lord in my heart telling me to go pray for him, so I left my water jugs and quickly walked outside. My friend wasn’t too far away, and it only took me a second to catch up to him.

He turned as I called his name, and I asked him if I could pray for him. He told me I could, and in the middle of people walking all around us, I began to pray for my friend. The Lord began to reveal the pain of my friend’s heart and then began to speak words of love and encouragement. The Lord began to speak through me about how my friend’s heart had lost hope, but that He was there to restore hope and build my friend up again with love. Every word was being directed straight to my friend’s heart, piercing it like an arrow. All of the people around us seemed to fade, leaving just God and us.

When I finished praying, my friend lifted his head and smiled a real smile. He thanked me and shared a little of what had been happening in his life. What my friend needed was for his Father God to touch his heart, and that’s what happened. We both said good-bye and walked away with our hearts full of joy.

-Excerpt from Life Resurrected.  Get your copy here.

Jesse and Kara Birkey

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