I Don’t Think I Will Do This Again

On her way out of town, she stopped for a breakfast sandwich at a popular fast food restaurant. There weren’t many cars ahead of her which was good because she was kind of in a hurry. Not a big hurry, but enough so that she couldn’t afford any long delays.

She gave her order and drove up. Two cars in front of her, three cars behind her. As she looked at the car right behind her, a thought flashed through her head. “You could pay for their order. It would be a surprise and a blessing for them.”

She had heard of people doing this but she had never done it before, nor had she ever been on the receiving end. I should do it, she thought.

But she soon had second thoughts as she wondered what the process would be. Would the cashier know what she wanted to do? Would she or he know how to do it? What would the people in the car behind her think? Would everyone think she was a fool? It seemed like such a dumb idea.

The line moved up and she began getting nervous. Her turn to pay would be next and she still hadn’t decided what to do. Fear began to rise in her as she wondered if she would even be able to vocalize what she wanted to do. All her life people seemed to have trouble understanding her and many times it was because she had trouble finding the right words to use. She never could figure out why something that came so easy for other people came so hard for her. Maybe she should just forget it.

Yet the thought had come to her. And that thought had never come to her before. What if it was God? She couldn’t just dismiss it. She had to obey it just in case.

The car ahead of her pulled ahead and she pulled up to the cashier’s window.

“$5.28,” the cashier said.

As she handed her debit card to the cashier, she blurted out, “I want to pay for the order of the car behind me, too.”

The cashier looked at the computer and said, “It’ll be $14.27. Still want to do it?”

Nodding, she thought how a year ago she would have choked on the amount. But the healing God had been doing in her throughout the last year, including her emotional attachment to her money, was evident as the amount today didn’t even cause her to raise her eyebrow.  What did raise her eyebrow was the cashier’s request to someone out of sight for a key. Then she walked a few feet away from the register and waited. After what felt like ten minutes but was probably closer to thirty seconds, the cashier came back to the window and explained that she needed a manager to enter a key in order to use the same card twice. A man walked over, presumably the manager, punched something into the machine, then walked away.

She looked behind her. This was delaying everyone. Now there were more than five cars IMG_20180522_215334342_HDRback there. If she had known this would cause a delay for the other people in line, she would never have done it. Feeling very self-conscience, she took her card as the cashier finally handed it to her and drove forward. Picking up her meal, she took one more glance behind her. By now the people in that car would know their meal had been paid for.  What were they thinking?

It doesn’t really matter, she told herself. I did what I thought God wanted me to do. That’s all that I need to be concerned about. But I don’t think I’m going to do this again.

That night, when she returned home, she told her husband of her experience as she opened the mail. He laughed and said he’d done it a few times, and even had been the recipient a time or two. Looking inside the envelope, she was surprised to see a check made out in her name from a medical office. The note said it was reimbursement for a payment she had made months before that insurance had later also paid. She couldn’t remember even making that payment. What surprised her even more was the amount on the check – $142, which was ten times what she had paid that morning for the other car’s order. She had heard of the tenfold law – ‘give and it will be given back to you tenfold’ – but also knew it was not found in the Bible. There was a thirtyfold, sixtyfold, even a hundredfold, but not tenfold. She puzzled over the amount until it dawned on her. God was making sure she connected the check to the meal she had paid for that morning. He knew the struggle she had gone through and yet had chosen to obey in spite of her doubts. This check was His way of saying, “Well, done!” Amazing!

Jesus Changes Things

She had always been nervous around people. From as far back as she could remember, her fear of people had kept her from enjoying family gatherings, public places, and even school. Sure, she could act like everything was OK. And sometimes she actually did find herself enjoying something that involved people. But even so, her nerves would cause her sweat glands to work overtime. Not just the simple underarm wetness that most people have to deal with. For her, it meant sweat dripping off her hands and running down her arms and sides. Enough sweat to actually form a puddle on the floor or on her chair. And she hated herself for it.

So she asked for prayer.

Her boyfriend prayed for her. Her friends prayed for her. Even the whole prayer group, including the inner healing team, prayed for her.

And things got worse.

She wondered, “Why? Could Satan have anything to do with this? Is it my will I’m fighting for against God’s will – does He want my total submission and this is bringing me to it? Is it premenstrual strain building up for the last couple of weeks? Am I not getting some kind of nutrient I need?”

She said, “God, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t want to be with people anymore. I just want to be alone. And I’m sorry for hiding out in the bathroom last night instead of joining the group in prayer. They were going to hold hands and I just couldn’t deal with the nerves and the sweat.  Nevertheless, I love You and I’m going to trust that you know what’s going on.”

Many times when she was feeling bad about herself, she would receive an unexpected gift – a rose, a picture drawn by a child, or a card in the mail – that she attributed to God. The time was no different. Actually, it was. She didn’t receive a gift – she received several gifts!  Some chicken from one friend, and some rolls and a desert from another friend. But best of all was a t-shirt that arrived weeks earlier than she expected. Across the front of the t-shirt were the words, “Jesus changes things.” Amazing coincidence? Absolutely not!

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“Thank You, Lord! I love it!” she responded as she clutched the shirt to her heart. He had heard her, and His reassurance that He would change her was exactly what she needed.

It would be years before she would see the evidence of the changes He was doing inside her. But while waiting, every time she started to give up, she’d see the message on the shirt and her faith would be renewed. Once again, God showed His amazing love for her by providing her with the perfect gift at just the right time.