I like to run with God. Every time I do, we have amazing conversations and He uses me to bless others. If I ever need motivation to get out the door, I just think about stories like this.
Last week I went for a long run and I felt really energized coming back. But with two miles left, I felt God say, “Let’s walk it back from here.” I thought, “…but I feel so strong I could run all the way back!” “It’s okay, let’s just walk,” He persisted. So I obeyed His still small voice and started to walk and sing praises.
When I slow down like this, I see people that are usually a passing blur as I zoom by – and I’m more aware of opportunities to love them. As I came to cross a street, I looked to my right and saw a boy sitting on the curb.
“Hey! How are you? What are you up to?”
“I’m waiting for a friend to pick me up. My car got totaled last weekend.”
He was driving on Pacific Coast Highway when a car turned in front of him, they crashed, and he spun out into the middle of oncoming traffic — and he walked away with a seatbelt rash! I knew this was an opportunity to love and encourage him.
“Wow! Do you think God protected you?” I asked quite blatantly. “Uh, yeah. I believe in God. I’m a Christian.” I could tell he was sincere, but his suddenly timid tone of voice revealed some hesitation and a sense of guilt weighing on him. I asked if he goes to a church nearby and he said his schedule is too busy for that, but he and a friend do a mini Bible study over the phone. “Right on, that’s awesome! Well guess what, I was cruisin’ on my run when God asked me to walk, and I had a feeling He wanted to bless someone – and it’s you! I just want to remind you that God delights in you and really likes you. You are cleansed from the guilt of your sin and you can look Jesus in the eye because He approves of you…You’re welcome to come to my house church where you can be surrounded by people who want to encourage and believe in you. It’s easy to get distracted and grow weary when we’re not in family.” “Wow. I was not expecting such a good conversation waiting for my ride,” he laughed, “Thanks for listening to God, you should walk more often.”
One simple encounter reminded this boy of God’s steadfast love for him, and it left me beaming with joy, ready for more! God is always seeking to love someone and always desiring to do it through us. If we’re willing to slow down and obey His voice, we will be available to love the person right in front of us.