She was attending the third day of Pastor Training. I’d been staying at her home for a few days already.
My first night in her home didn’t feel safe to me. There seemed to be dark forces at work, an authority of sorts to muck with my sleep and that hovered over the home.
My first morning, upon wakening, my conversation with the Lord was about how unsafe I felt, and that I really wasn’t sure I was to stay there.
I’d over the previous years become very attuned to when I was covered and hidden in the Lord and when I was not. The ‘not covered’ moments were becoming few and far between, and so when I sensed a compromised covering I would notice right away.
As I prayed about it though I very clearly sensed the Lord saying, “I want you to stay here. I want the blessing that you bring with you to rest on this home.”
I was reminded it was not about me. That my presence in that country was about something much bigger than me. So I settled into staying.
When my key contact came to pick me up that morning, I let him know how it had all felt, and suggested that he and I pray together for a spiritual safety in the home.
This we did, and in the midst of our conversation he realized that the first home I had stayed in they had in fact prayed and covered it before I came, this home they had not.
So we prayed together and everything was fine after that.
And now I was a few days later at the Pastors Conference with my host lady in attendance.
I shared that day some of my own struggles through life. The disillusionment and the heartache and loss, and yet how I had found through it all that God was a profound ally.
Something powerful happens when we are transparent and when we risk to tell our stories. Though they feel ultra personal, and of course they are, they are also something to be invested in the kingdom of God and in the lives of those we serve.
That evening over dinner, as my host lady and I ate together, she confided to me her own very difficult journey, of the immense heartaches and loss and of her bitterness to God that she could not quite shrug off.
It was a connection of like hearts and minds in many ways. We became friends that day. I prayed for her and declared the peace and blessing over her and her home that the Lord had already told me was his intention.
Three months later I was back again. And the tenor of the home and its inhabitants was markedly changed. There was joy and laughter and hope there now.
I mentioned this to her, and she said ‘yes’ it was much different. To me it was like I was in a very different place.
This is the power of God. In God’s intention we are well kept.
I don’t all the way get this blessing of God through our presence. When I think of myself in terms of the blessing of presence, of just being somewhere, I really don’t understand it. Yet I’ve had too many people speak to me of the impact of my presence to argue any more.
I’ve simply come to understand that when God chooses to work a certain way through us, we can either come alongside and do our part, or we can keep arguing and in the long run, miss out on so much.
Thing is, it really is not about us.
It’s about those we serve.
I don’t know about you. I don’t know the unique impact that you make on the world. But I do know that if others are commenting on how you effect them, if God is calling you to invest your life in a particular way, that you probably want to pay attention, trust those words and observations, and seek to do even more of that.
Self devaluing never benefited anyone.
My other host home in another village some 200km away has experienced the same blessing from what I can tell. From the time of my first stay to my third stay some six months later, the woman of the home planted a banana field, added doors to the interior of her home, plastered the inside of her home, and added a significant addition onto one of her outside buildings.
I don’t know if this was normal per se, she is a widow and so struggles along in many ways, and yet I saw marked progress and improvement in her standard of living in the time I’d been there.
Was this God through me? I won’t ever really know. But this I do know. That if I am to bring the blessing of God with me as I go places, then I’d better be going places.
What about you?