Today a stranger bought me a cup of coffee and it was a moment much bigger to me than that $1.00 that he spent. It was God’s answer to a prayer and reassurance of His constant presence in a very quiet way.
Several weeks I have been struggling inside with some decisions I know have to be made by year’s end concerning a handful of personal and business issues. I have always been a big believer in God’s power in situations. I have been brought through some pretty heavy moments in my life just because I know the Lord is the one and only navigator I need. He is gracious allowing me to become a part of the path- choosing for a time, even if it may not quite be the best path for myself. Sometimes I have made very good choices, other times choices that will haunt me till they lay that final lily on my chest. But in all instances I knew ultimately God had it, and I would watch things unfold, straighten out, clean up and move forward. And in almost every case it happened very quickly with my involvement in digging myself out of a hole, bootstrapping myself up, or otherwise being a very integral part of it all.
But that is not the case in my life right now.
I find myself in a frustrating moment in my life. I have usually sought guidance and many counselors when making a path decision and have most often come up with exactly what to do and when and then, well…just did IT…whatever IT may have been. But not now…I do not know the answer at all. Not even a little bit of the answer.
I am in a wait pattern, one position I often have difficulty maintaining. But right now, other than fleeting moments here and there of frantic “Oh my goodness what is going to become of me”, I have been at peace most of the last 6 months I have been dealing with these issues.
This week has been different. I have not been as content to wait. I haven’t felt sure of my decisions in some areas. There has been frustration and even a bit of dredged up anger here and there over old situations that are no longer in my control that have spiraled me to where I find myself personally and professionally today.
I woke this morning, a bit down and just wanting to get through the day and its requirements and get done. I did pray, I did ask God for guidance. Then almost as an after-thought I said ” And Lord, just show me I am not alone in this, give me some encouragement today because no one but YOU knows the deep things I am dealing with right now. My best cheerleader is usually me, God, and frankly, I am done cheering for myself and everyone else around me. I need somebody to take care of me for a change and genuinely care just a little about what I am going through right now. I need some warmth from someone, anyone today, because I just can’t do it for myself anymore. It would be good just to be noticed, God.”
I worked the day, closed up the shop, then started home with my granddaughter who had come to the shop with me. On a whim I decided to just stop in the gas station and get a cup of coffee, ride around a bit and clear my head before going home. I fixed my cup of coffee, went to the counter and waited my turn, while Lorelai chattered at my side. A billion things were running through my mind. So much on my plate, so many needing me, financial strains imminent in areas, and health concerns in others. I reached into my coin purse for some change to pay and the clerk said ” Thank you, have a great evening.” I looked up with money in my hand and said ” Pardon me?” He repeated his statement, then smiled, and turned back to his work. I haven’t ever had a stranger do that for me…ever. I told him honestly “Thank you for doing that, I really needed this” pointing to the coffee, but meaning the kind gesture. He nodded, said ” Yes, ma’am I could see you did.” I thanked him again and left.
I sat in the car with my granddaughter rattling on about first one silliness then another and I could feel the heat of the cup almost melting into my hand and moving up my arm, curling around my shoulders and across my face as I thought about what had just happened. I just sat and let that simple kindness care for me,put me at peace, redirect my path a bit and lift my spirits. And I felt noticed and no longer alone. I knew that I was in God’s site, within His range of hearing, but mostly within His realm of help and aid, and He used someone with skin on to remind me.
I know, even in the midst of chaotic times and days and moments that make no sense at all to my logic and reasoning, the Lord truly does have this all in His hands. He will give me what I need, when I need it, how I need it and from whatever source He chooses…not me. And I am grateful for that more today than I have been in a long, long time.
Funny how a little water and some ground up coffee beans can put the whole world into perspective again. And to think…I didn’t start drinking coffee till I turned 52. How different my life may have been if I had let Him fill my cup just a bit sooner.