Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gas for Jesus

If your first thought is, "Ew gross," your mind is going to the wrong place. That is not the type of gas we're talking about here. Stick with me.

All day long yesterday I was in communication with God. He spoke to me in my dreams, all the way until I laid my head down on the pillow at night. The day had a theme, God's blessings and my faith in His provision.

I dreamt about my friend, Birgit, on Monday. I woke up still thinking about her. I was remembering the time I had been through looking for her, the frustration I had when I couldn't find her, and then the satisfaction I received when she found me. God really came through for me. I had a sense of peace about it, but at the same time there was unrest. I feel like there is going to be more to the story. I don't know what, or when, but there is unfinished business.

As I lay in my bed, I began to pray over her; a prayer of safety, of blessing, and encouragement. I longed to be used by God again. I didn't want it to be a onetime thing. I want it to happen daily even if it's just in a small way.

Later in the day as I was spending time reading my Bible, this verse stood out to me. I literally cried when I read it out of the Message Bible. "You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!" Matthew 5:14-15


I want to be a God color shining in this world. I am fascinated with the light. I know I've written about this many times before. But it's true. I want to be so full of God that it spills out of me onto the lives of other people. I seek to be contagious.

In the evening time I had to stop by Hobby Lobby to pick up something for my girl craft day the next morning. I wanted to browse the laminators and compare some pricing. I called my husband. He told me, "Get it." When I started to protest at the high price, he argued back, "I want you to buy it. Now!" I was convinced a little too easily.

As I was driving to my book study, laminator in the trunk, I was overwhelmed with God's blessings. This past year was above and beyond anything I dreamed possible. God financially blessed my family to the extreme. We have more money than we have bills and desires. In return we've been able to be extraordinarily giving, more than ever before. I believe the secret is this, you don't wait for the money to be there to give. You give and then the money shows up.

We started out the year in a tight place, where I counted every penny. In February, my husband was willing to step out in faith when challenged by our pastor to give more. The results have been astonishing. I cannot say this enough. GOD HAS BLESSED US SO MUCH!!

I was a block from the coffee shop and I knew I needed to pull myself together. The happy tears had to stop, though I still had a smile stretching from ear to ear. God is good!

I stayed a little bit later after my study to sit and talk with another friend. When we were done chatting, we made our way outside to the cars. We talked a little more, and then a man pulled up beside my car.

He said, "Are you from here?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm really embarrassed to be doing this. I've been stopping and talking to everyone. I need to be at work tomorrow." He took out his identification badge, clipped to his shirt. He worked at a jail near Salina, KS. "I'm on my way home from St. Louis and I lost my wallet. I've been peddling around. I think I left it in Emporia. I need to be home tomorrow. I tried calling the police and they gave me the number for the rescue mission. I don't want to stay here; I just need to get to work in the morning." He rambled on for several minutes. It wasn't clear what he wanted from us.

It was after he talked about needing money, that I stopped him and asked, "What exactly do you want from us?" I couldn't tell.

"I need 7 or 8 gallons of gas to get me home. I can pay you back later."

Without hesitation, I knew what to do. I pointed out the gas station on the corner, and said, "I'll meet you there in a minute." He was gone.

You must understand, it's 10:30pm, and we're standing in a vacant parking lot. It was a little unnerving. I was glad my friend with there with me. She climbed into the front seat with me, and we drove to the gas station.

When we arrived, he told me, "Just tell me when to stop pumping."

I asked if he had gotten any so far since he'd been asking everyone. "One guy gave me three dollars of gas, but that won't get me home. I've been driving around trying to get help from anyone who would."

I told him to fill it up. I ran my card as credit so I didn't need to put in my pin number. I took the receipt out quickly and stuffed it in my pocket. I had no idea if his intentions were good.

He was extremely thankful and asked, "Where can I pay you back at?" He started to take out a piece of paper and pen.

God dropped the words in my mouth before I had time to think. "God has really blessed my family so much, so I'd like to just give it to you. I don't need anything back from you."

He showed surprise, "are you sure?" as he thanked me repeatedly over and over again. "You have no idea how much this means to me. I don't know what I would do. Thank you so much."

I told him, again, "God really has blessed my family financially. It's a gift from God, for you. It's not me."

As soon as his car was full of gas, he was off in the direction of the highway. I think he might have shaken my hand. I can't remember.

You may think that was foolish of me, or crazy. You might think it was a scam. But I don't care. I knew that it was the Holy Spirit talking for me, and it was God prompting me to do it. Either way, the man heard that God cares for him. That is the most important part.

This is not your typical What Would Jesus Do thing. But it was a very powerful night for me. God was preparing me all day long. From the time I woke up, longing to be used by God, to finding the scripture verse speaking of "shining my light", all the way to the overwhelming feeling of being blessed. God knew exactly when I would need to be outside for that man to drive along and find me. He prepared my heart so that I would be willing to give. Thirty-five dollars given to stranger was a small price to pay for the satisfaction I was able to receive in knowing I was at the right place at the right time, with the right attitude, and the right financial situation. God is amazing!

What a great faith building way to start off the New Year!

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