And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.—Isaiah 30:21
Every day I pray I will hear, immediately recognize and immediately obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. I often pray it will be as reflexive to me as breathing. I wish that were always the case. But one moment of one day, it was.
It started a few weeks earlier, when our neighbor recommended a handyman to gird up our kitchen cabinets and replace our damaged kick plate. “I can fix that,” the handyman said. Then he leaned back and studied our kitchen. “Your cabinets need resurfacing,” he said.
“Yeah, and Cheri keeps talking about getting a glass backsplash,” my husband said. Then I found myself word vomiting my wishlist. “And I want matching glass knobs and pulls and pot lights to replace the fluorescent light.” I then caught myself. “But everything outside of fixing the cabinets is for another day.”
The handyman grew quiet again. “I can do all that,” he said, throwing out a cost that required no discussion. “You’re going to be so happy with the results,” he promised.
He left that day with our cabinet doors and drawers. While I was at an appointment, my husband had emptied our drawers and lazy susan, putting the contents in containers all over the kitchen and dining room.
Workers came over the next few days to sand and repaint the cabinets. Another worker installed the backsplash. We became hopeful the job would be finished quickly. But then everything stopped. Weeks went by with no workers and no word from our handyman, who still had our cabinet doors and drawers.
Finally he texted my husband to say he had lost the woman who raised him, and he had lost his phone. He promised to be back at work the following Monday. We expressed our sympathies at his loss. But the entire week—and the entire week after that—went by without a word. We began to think we would never get our cabinet doors and drawers back again, so we started to look for a Plan B.
One morning as I was getting ready and was mulling the disarray in my kitchen and dining room, I felt God telling me to pray for our handyman because he was in a dark place. I prayed for his salvation. I prayed for his comfort. I prayed for the Lord to impress on him the importance of honoring his commitments.
Then I felt the Lord say, “Tell him you’re praying for him.” So I sent a simple text: “I want you to know I’m praying for you today. That’s all.”
Less than two weeks later, my husband got a text from our handyman saying he would be at our house at 1 p.m. the following Wednesday. To my surprise and delight, he was there as promised. And then he told me his story.
His loss had thrown him into a pit from which he couldn’t find a way out. He shut down and shut everyone out. His wife couldn’t reach him. His kids couldn’t reach him. His clients, who began harassing his wife, couldn’t reach him. But when he got my text, he said that was the moment when everything changed.
He felt the power of my prayer in that moment. Then God gave him a vision of his wife, his family, his friends and his clients. “Take care of them,” he felt God saying. The following Sunday, he gave his life to Christ. Every evening since, he said, he read his Bible till he fell asleep.
“I can’t thank you enough,” he said. “I know I’ve inconvenienced you. Can you ever forgive me?” “Done!” I said, and I meant it.
So I shared my story and encouraged him in the Lord. I also encouraged him to allow himself to laugh and to live and to cry when he needed to. I fought tears the whole time, humbled that a simple prayer and a few simple words could make such a difference in someone’s life.
Has God laid someone on your heart? Reach deep and let go of any hurt that person might have caused you. Then reach up to God and reach out to that person, letting her know you’re spiritually cheering her on. You never know what will happen when God moves.