No Time Like the Present

Friday, December 20

12-20By Karen Anne Smith of Ludington, Michigan

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion. Declare his deeds among the peoples.

—Psalm 9:10–11

Two days after Christmas is an excellent time to shop for bargains. As I searched the department store shelves I found a cute teddy bear holding a bottle of my mother-in-law’s favorite perfume. “You should get that for mother,” a little voice said. I thought it was a good idea, but I had to watch my budget. I walked away and continued to shop.
Every time I strolled past that particular shelf the little voice became more insistent. “You need to get that for mother. Eloise loves that perfume and little bears too!” I reached for the bear and his gift.
At the same time, across town in the nursing home, a discouraged Eloise prayed, “Help me, God. What will I do?  Please, please send somebody!”  She had arranged for a Bible study for her residents and had just learned the leader wasn’t coming.
Back at the store I wheeled my cart to my car when a new thought came to me, “Don’t wait for her birthday or next Christmas, take your gift to mother right now!”  No time like the present for a present. I decided to swing around to the nursing home. I no sooner walked in the front door when Eloise greeted me, beaming with joy. She said, “You are an answer to my prayer!”
I was afraid. I had never before led a Bible study, much less one for seniors, but as I prayed I was assured that Christ would be with us all. We had a beautiful time with prayers for those in need being our main focus. The Holy Spirit filled the room and inspired our prayer and study. As I looked around the room, warm smiles greeted me. Wherever God takes us, whatever God asks of us, we can trust we will be led in our ministry. Just remember to take a moment to pray and let God in. I received a gift also—I have a new testimony of how God can guide us even while shopping for bargains.

Prayer for Peace
Loving God, thank you for your guiding spirit. We trust in you. Thank you for your presence among us when we are afraid. Lead us to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice for Advent: Love
Reflect on the love of God. How is it that God sent Christ to be “all our loves exceeding?” How do you see God’s love revealed in Christ? How is God’s love revealed in your own life? Think of ways you can express that love as you prepare for the Son of God—love’s pure light? Thank God for the ultimate gift of love: Jesus Christ.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will not hesitate to respond when I feel led by your Spirit.

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1 Comment

  1. Irvin L. Jones

     /  20 December 2013

    It is great when we really listen for that stilll small voice that calls us to be present in others lives. I have enjoyed similar encounters. Praise God and his Holy Son.

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