Will I ever learn?

Last week I considered the danger of editing God’s plans and still calling it obedience HERE. I have been paying keen attention to my propensity to talk myself out of doing exactly what God asks. I am saddened by how often I have done this, and am stilling doing so.

This past week I donned a face mask…

and entered a department store to return some items from Amazon. On the way to the counter at the back of the store, I passed an older gentleman with a young boy on the left. They were looking at youth-sized shirts in the boy’s clothing section. The man was holding up a shirt and commenting excitedly about how cool the shirt was. I remember assuming I was seeing a grandfather and grandson. I also remember thinking the man sounded really kind.

Once I returned the items…

the clerk handed me a coupon for 25% off an entire purchase for immediate use in the store. Instantly, I had a strong prompting to give my coupon to the the gentleman on my way out. After all, I had not intended doing any shopping and I was on a tight schedule to get home. I asked the clerk if I was allowed to give my coupon away and he said yes. Turning in excitement, I took the same aisle back to the front door but as I passed by the man and boy again, I saw the man putting the shirt back.


my mind started talking itself out of obeying God in spite of what I was seeing: Oh, they aren’t buying anything after all. Maybe I can use the coupon. I will look in the clearance racks real fast.

So, I did.

I quickly scanned shirts and took one to hold up against myself in front of a mirror. Staring at my reflection, I thought, What am I doing? God told me what to do and I have edited the plan and turned it into my self-gain and delayed obedience.

The shirt in my hand was quickly returned to the rack…

and I went looking for the kind gentleman and his young side-kick. I found them in the men’s department. Excuse me, sir, I said through my yellow face mask. I just returned some items to Amazon and was given this 25% off coupon for an entire purchase. I was wondering if you could use it.

Without hesitation…

the elderly man exclaimed, I am going to buy a shirt for this boy right here! as he pointed to his young companion.

It was in this moment I comprehended…

that when I saw the man putting the shirt down, it wasn’t because he didn’t want to buy it, but because the price tag was too high. What was supposed to have happened was that as he was holding up the shirt, a lady in a yellow face mask was to have offered him a coupon in that very moment. How fun would that have been for him? Instead, the moment of “perfect timing” never happened. It was changed.

On my way out of the store…

I prayed behind my mask in rather urgent tones, I am sorry I delayed. I am so sorry I delayed, Lord. Please keep working with me to follow your promptings immediately and in full.

May we not talk ourselves out of obeying God this week. No tweaking His plans!

Picture Explanation: I have been making some new things for the family lately — chia seed pudding, a mock Wendy’s frosty, and a Mediterranean white fish. I call it COVID-19 cooking. I am spending so much time at my desk teaching online, I have developed a routine that gets me out of desk my chair! I leave the house for one errand a day, clean one thing in my house, make dinner, and walk for 30 minutes each evening. Otherwise, picture me in my office.

© 2020 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

4 Responses

  1. About three weeks ago, I was at Sam’s getting some things. They had disinfectant wipes in a package of six containers. I was so happy! I had been trying to find some but every time I went they were out. As I continues shopping, a man of color saw the wipes in my buggy and excitedly asked where I found them. I told him exactly where they were and he went to find them. Then I thought: “I should have given him mine!” I picked up a few more items while I kept an eye out for him, but I didn’t see him. Then I went over to where the wipes were, and he wasn’t there. Then I checked out and waited around the door for a while hoping to see him, but I never did. I left feeling so sad that I had missed an opportunity to bless someone, especially a man of color during the time of racial unrest here in Atlanta. My heart still feels sad when I think about it. Your posts have been a blessing to encourage me not to miss another opportunity to obey quickly and bless someone the Lord wants to bless!

    1. I know I am not the only one with such regrets, Tish, but it’s nice of you to share that similar example. I keep praying for improvement on seizing opportunities. Let’s keep up the pursuit.

  2. Wow! What a powerful example of what you wrote about last week. God uses all things for the good. He used your “teachable moment” to teach all of us! Thank you for being obedient and for blessing those two folks!

    1. Hopefully I will have an account soon where I obeyed fully and immediately, without delay! We are all in this together. It’s the same for all of us, but we must keep striving.

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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