Some days the precision and timing of God amazes me.
Not too long ago, Breanne and I decided to drive to Cleveland for the day. We both needed a day off – so we made plans to get in some fun time. At least as much fun as it can be, shopping with two kids.
Cleveland is about an hour from us. We arrived there just after most stores opened and started our shopping day. Everything went smoothly. We visited several stores then the kids were hungry, so we stopped for lunch.
When we had done all we planned, I still had one place to stop, to make a return. Once that was accomplished, we headed back out of town. At least that was our plan.
Breanne was driving, I was sitting in the passenger seat glancing out at the road, thinking.
This thought came to mind, “I would love to stop at Cracker Barrel.”
First of all, it made no sense, we had just eaten. Secondly, I knew Breanne was ready to head home, so I remained silent.
Even as these thoughts ran through my mind, Breanne spoke. She said, “I would kind of like to stop at Cracker Barrell.”
I laughed, as I exclaimed, “I just had the same thought.”
We pulled into Cracker Barrell. In we went. We piddled through the gift shop as we always do. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling there was a divine reason we were there. I continued walking around their store, praying quietly as I went.
Just as I turned a corner, I saw an elderly lady coming toward me. She had her head down and was headed to the restroom. I stopped in my tracks. Even without seeing her face, I knew this woman.
It was Ms. Ronnie Burch. I had worked with her for seven years while at Norvel Hayes Ministries. She was over the Prayer Ministry. Now, in her nineties, she was the most godly woman I had ever known. We were friends. More than friends. She was a spiritual mother God brought across my path many years ago. Our eyes met and both of us stood still, staring at each other.
“Kim…I have been asking the Lord about you.”
Those were her first words. I reached out and hugged her at the same moment she reached for me. She held me in her embrace for a long time. It felt like a God-hug.
We stood in the aisle talking for quite a while. Remembering times when she and I had traveled together, prayed together and took communion together. It was a blessed time. Although we were in the middle of Cracker Barrel, in the aisle, I was not going to let this God-moment pass. There we stood, reminiscing and catching up.
As we started to part, I said, “Ms. Ronnie, will you pray for me?” She said, “Of course, anything special?” I said, “No, you are still the most anointed woman I know, just bless me please.” She began to pray.
There we stood, people all around, heads bowed, praying to our Father. It was glorious. When she finished, I prayed for her. We hugged again and parted ways.
As Breanne and I drove back home, I couldn’t help but think of the precise timing of God that day to make this encounter happen. Had we stopped one more place, or one less place, I would have missed it.
Had I been at a different place in the store at that moment, I would not have seen this wonderful woman of God. What a blessing I would have missed. But God made sure I didn’t miss it. Every moment of that day was orchestrated by God for this encounter.
It made me realize, once again, God is in the small things. He can do whatever it takes to get us where we need to be at the exact moment we need to be there.
God is indeed, good. In my life, God has brought many friends across my path, for that I am thankful. But I am most thankful for the spiritual friends. Those you don’t see or talk to daily, yet you have such a strong, spiritual connection – you know it is a God-thing. This was one of those.
I can’t count how many times I have thanked Him for that encounter with my friend. On the drive home, Breanne said, “You could see by the look on Ms. Ronnie’s face that you two had a lot of history.” How true. She taught me to pray. To take communion. I have prayed more with her than anyone else I know. I love this woman and I thank God for her. And God gave me one more opportunity to tell her just how important she is to me. I thank God for that.
I had started that morning like most days, saying, “God, my day is yours, I’ll go where you want me to go and do what you want me to do.” It’s funny, as Ms. Ronnie was praying, she prayed that over me, she said, “Lord, Kim will only go where you want her to go…keep leading her.”
What I didn’t know about that day. What I couldn’t have possibly known is this. A couple weeks later, Ms. Ronnie went home to be with the Lord. God gave me one more visit with this woman I loved before He took her home. I am so thankful.
Friend, God is leading you today. Walk in His plan and His way and trust Him. He is, so good.
Meditate on this:
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24