Shock and awe showed on our faces as my friends and I watched her enter the market. It appeared her bones were not able to support her crippled body. Her crooked legs shifted to the right then to the left to walk towards her companion. Her posture was bent in a 90-degree angle and excruciating pain was painted on her face.
Immediately my friends saw this as an opportunity to pray for this Filipina woman who obviously needed healing. We all talked amongst ourselves sharing our compassion for this woman. They boldly asked me to approach her to ask for prayer and why not? God says He is our healer and she looks like she needs healing, so let’s go for it. We boldly walked towards her, our hearts ready to see a miracle and mustard seed sized faith believing for the impossible.
We were greeted with a surprise, as she slowly turned to reveal a face of pain, anger, and discontent. We didn’t let this stop us as we shared in joy our desire to pray for her. Quickly any hope for healing diminished as her raspy voice grew louder and louder, drawing a crowd of eyes. She screamed at us to get away from her.
Walking away, my face was wet with warm tears rolling down my cheeks. They were not tears of rejection, fear, embarrassment, or hurt. My tears of compassion were for this woman who had not rejected me but rejected God and his blessings on her life. “Why, God, does she want to live in pain, fear, sickness, and disease?,” I said. At this moment, as I walked through the market, I heard God ask, “Khristina, did I ask you to go pray for this woman?”
I heard God ask, “Khristina, did I ask you to go pray for this woman?”
“No, Lord, but she obviously needed healing and you can give that to her. I was trying to share your goodness with her. It is my job to share the good news, the gospel of Jesus. To help bind up the brokenhearted and see the captives set free (Luke 4:18). I was doing what you called me to do, or so I thought,” I responded.
Then came THE WORD, the TRUTH, and revelation when God responded in love, “Not everyone wants to receive me. Only I know the true intent of their heart, that is why it’s important for you to let me lead you. I didn’t ask you to go pray for that woman because her heart was not ready to receive me and the healing I have to offer her.”
Thank You, Jesus!
Even now as I write this story, I can feel the presence of God in those words. It is His desire to have a relationship with us and much like in our own relationships with friends, family members, co-workers, and partners, there are times to talk and times to be silent. God seeks a relationship with us, not rules or religion. Serving God is not about what we should do or not do. It’s not a formula or process; it’s a relationship. He wants a relationship with everyone on this earth, but He is not going to force that relationship on us. We have to make the decision to accept His invitation.
I have made that decision to have a relationship with God and others have to make that same decision if they want to walk through life with Him by their side. Psalms 37:23 says, our steps are ordered of God, which means that He knows which way we should go – to the left, to the right, forward, or stand still. In order to know which way to go, we must listen for God’s voice.
Thank you, Jesus, that you are a forgiving God who is patient, kind, and slow to anger. Just as we love our children despite their mistakes, God loves us and throws our sins as far as the east is from the west. Psalms 103:12
This wasn’t the first or the last time I walked in a direction God did not lead, but He graciously waits for me to come to Him and ask, “Which way is next?” then He reveals the next step.
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