Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:40-41 NIV)
Friend to Friend
“I don’t have an assigned seat,” the disheveled young woman complained as she stumbled into the airplane.
“This one is empty,” I pointed out.
“Thanks,” she huffed as she plopped down.
The beautiful young lady was obviously exhausted. She was dressed in skin-tight jeans and a distracting low-cut T-shirt. Sunglasses hid something…I wasn’t sure what. She looked straight ahead, but I felt that her mind was traveling to a distant place.
After the plane left the ground, I pulled out a book I had written to prepare for an upcoming radio interview. Put the book down and talk to this girl, God seemed to say.
God, she doesn’t want to talk. I can tell by her body language. She’s not interested in conversation, I mentally argued.
Put the book down and talk to this girl. (God can be very persistent. Especially when it comes to one of his little lost lambs.)
I closed the book and turned to this…kid.
“So, where are you headed?” I asked.
“Home,” she replied.
“Right outside of Charlotte,” she replied. “It’s a small town. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it.”
“Were you in Florida on business or pleasure?” I continued.
“I was visiting my boyfriend,” she answered.
Then she took off her sunglasses to reveal red swollen eyes. She glanced down at the book in my lap—the one about what to do with pain and difficult chapters in your life. “That’s an interesting topic,” she whispered.
“Yep,” I replied. “That’s why I wrote the book. I’ve got lots of scars.”
For the next 90 minutes, this young girl poured out her heart. She had been abandoned by her birth father and sexually abused by several men in her life. She was on this flight home because her boyfriend, who had just come out of a drug rehabilitation center, had “roughed her up.”
Actually, she was fleeing. My heart broke as this beautiful young girl told me story after story of cruelties that had been done to her mingled with bad choices that had been made through her. At the moment, her life resembled a 100-car train wreck with one lone survivor who was in desperate need of life resuscitation.
Have you ever noticed how Jesus paid attention to single individuals as He walked this earth? He stopped and noticed Zacchaeus in a tree (Luke 19:2-4), paused His journey to heal a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years ( Mark 5:25-34), changed His travel plans to attend to a twelve-year-old little girl (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43), paused along the road to give a blind man his sight, (Mark 8:22-26), stopped and had a conversation with a Syrophoenician mother about her daughter (Mark 7:24-30) and comforted a distraught father about his son ( Mark 9:14-29).
Jesus stopped what He was doing. Here’s what I want us to memorize today, “Jesus stopped.” That’s it. It’s never a good idea to memorize just part of a verse, but I think Jesus would approve. Jesus stopped.
After listening to Beth’s story, I asked her if I could pray for her. I held Beth’s hand and God’s love for this girl filled my heart. When the plane landed, I handed Beth the book, we exchanged e-mails, and embraced one last time. Later, her stepfather wrote me a letter expressing his appreciation for taking the time to minister to his “little girl.” He wrote: “I had been praying for God to send someone to minister to Beth, and He did.”
Be on the lookout. Who is God putting in your path? Be ready to stop. Don’t miss the opportunity. You could be someone’s miracle today.
Who is one person who stopped for you? Leave a comment and let’s share.
Dear Heavenly Father, I am amazed that You use simple weak vessels like me to be Your hands and feet. Help me to keep my eyes open as I move through my day. Don’t let me miss the opportunities that You provide to reach out and share Your amazing love.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Today, you have an assignment. Grab your Bible and look up the following verses: Luke 19:1-9 and Mark 5:21-34.
What was Jesus doing? Where was He going? Who did He take time to notice? What was the outcome?
What can you learn and apply to your life by the example Jesus set?
More From the Girlfriends
Did you know that Sharon has lots of FREE downloads to encourage and equip you in your faith journey? 55 Verses of How God Transforms Our Lives and Redeems Our Stories, 10 Verses of How God is Always Working Behind the Scenes, Words that Build Strong Relationships with Adult Children, and many more are available with one click!
For more on how to live bold as Sharon talked about in today’s devotion, see her book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let go, Move forward, Live bold.
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