By Kathy Cheek
We have all experienced them—encounters with people God brings across our path to minister to, seemingly out of the blue, seemingly randomly—except we know these meetings were God-appointed. It could be a nudge to call someone who is lonely and is discouraged, and you know that nudge is from the Lord. Or it could be an opportunity to talk with someone in a crisis, and you are the one God uses to help them through.
A few years ago, a friend of mine met her new neighbors, a couple who had recently lost a two-month-old baby boy to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The wife, Diana,* was inconsolable in her grief to the point that her husband was seriously considering committing her to a psychiatric hospital. My friend, Linda, shared all of this in a prayer request at our women’s Bible study. She also shared that Diana and her husband were not believers and did not have any family in town.
When God Calls on You
I knew instantly this was one of those times that God was bringing someone across my path that I was supposed to help. I hadn’t known Linda very long, so she wasn’t aware that many years ago, I had a newborn baby girl who only lived for two days. I knew about loss and grief. I knew the pain of going through that difficult journey, but I also knew that the Lord had carried me through—both my husband and myself. I wanted Diana to know that with time and God’s help, we can move from the hurting place of grief to a healing place.
Linda called Diana, told her a little of my story, and asked her if she would be willing to talk with me. Diana was quite eager to meet me. She was thankful to have someone to talk to about her loss.
I met with her many times, and Linda checked on her frequently since they live on the same street. During that time, Diana gave her life to Christ, and her ability to cope with her loss began to improve. She now had hope of seeing her child again, and she had hope for herself. She read her Bible every day and started going to church, and she asked us to pray for her husband. He was glad she was doing better, but didn’t seem as open to the gospel as Diana had been. But we all kept praying.
When Help Turns to Healing
I continued to meet regularly with Diana for over a year, and I remember the day she said she knew she was doing much better because she had begun to enjoy things that she hadn’t enjoyed in a very long time. She said that getting together with me for lunch was no longer just to talk about how she was doing, but to talk about all kinds of things—small talk, normal talk about family, church, and work. She knew she had come a long way when she just wanted to get together for the purpose of spending time with a friend. That’s when I knew she was in a healing place.
Always Answer God’s Call
Let’s always keep our hearts open to however God desires to use us to walk beside a hurting person, whether they have lost a job, their health, or a loved one. When God calls us to this privilege—may we answer His call!
*Not her real name.
Kathy Cheek is a freelance writer and is involved in women’s ministry and Bible studies in her church. She and her husband live in Dallas, Tex., and have two grown daughters. You can read Kathy’s devotions at her blog Devotions from the Heart .
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