I was trying to hide. I just wanted to sit and write and not see anyone I knew. That morning I’d had an incredibly frustrating doctor’s appointment that left me with more questions than answers. Leaving the office emotionally and spiritually drained, I decided against visiting my usual writing spot. Instead, I went to the coffee shop across the street from the doctor’s office. I never go there and was certain I’d avoid seeing anyone I knew.
After an hour of writing, I looked up and saw a former co-worker. We had just re-connected the previous week after six years of not seeing each other. I called out, “Linda!” Her head snapped in my direction and her eyes widened. “Oh, Amelia do I ever need to talk to you!” She brought her lunch to my table and I closed my laptop. For the next twenty minutes she told me about her week. My jaw dropped as she relayed the ordeal she had been through which ended with her and her employees being without jobs in a couple months. I leaned back in my chair, “I am so, so sorry.” I spent the next few minutes encouraging her and doing my best to speak life and love into her. I promised to pray. We hugged goodbye and she headed back to work.
I thought I could hide from people. But God reminded me that even when I’m caught up in my own fears and worries, He still has things for me to do. I can never hide from the need to extend His love, to share His hope.
A couple hours later, a man came up to my table and said, “You have way more discipline than I do!”
I smiled and replied, “Well, I have a deadline and I’m writing fast and furious to meet it!”
“Ah, you look like the kind of person who can handle the pressure of a deadline.”
I chuckled. “Well, I’m going to do my best.”
“What kind of book is it?”
I paused and something inside said to just put it all out there. “It’s a book for women that talks about doing life together according to God’s plan.”
His eyes lit up and a huge smile crossed his face. “I’m a believer too! I could just tell that you were too. Sometimes people just kind of radiate their faith you know? And you were sitting there and I could just tell!”
I paused. ME? Radiating my faith while sitting there pounding the keyboard? When I’m exhausted, emotionally drained, full of doubt and fear. Me? I looked around to see if he was talking to someone else. “Oh! Well, thanks.”
Then he continued with encouraging words, full of faith, building me up, urging me to press on, to complete the task God has given me, and it was all I could do to not cry. I don’t remember his exact words, but I remember what happened in my spirit. It was like a cup of cold water had been poured over my parched soul. My spirit just whispered, “Thank you, God. I know this is YOU speaking to me through this man. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
When he finished, I could barely speak. “I… just… really you have blessed me so much with your words. Thank you.”
He looked at me and said, “Oh no, you have blessed ME!”
Really? I was just trying to hide, to not be seen. But God reminded me, I can’t hide from Him. No matter where I go, He is there. No matter how deep the hurt, He is there. Even in the midst of my own pain, He asks that I continue to pour out His love, and when I do, He fills me right back up. Sometimes through the voice of a stranger.
Are you feeling empty and weak? Keep pouring out into others and He will fill you up. Are you trying to hide? Remember the words of the Psalmist:
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
Psalm 139:7-12, MSG
Let God meet you wherever you are.