People Watching with Jesus

As my fingers peck the keys, I'm sitting in a crowded waiting area waiting for an oil change. My fellow waiters are doing everything from snoring softly to reading old copies of Car and Driver. Patriotic balloons hang from the ceiling to help our wait be more festive. One whole wall displays all kinds of snacks and drinks to keep us content. The television flashes a fixer-upper show with a pretty blonde host. They even have Carrie Underwood singing "Something in the Water" through the ceiling speakers. Man, they thought of everything!
Shhh, don't tell the car dealership folks, but I've found the secret to making waiting room moments not only tolerable but purposeful. I pray.
Think of it as people watching with Jesus. The people sitting in this waiting room are strangers I may see only once. I may not know what they need, but He does. As I lay eyes on each precious soul in this room, God sees and understands their deepest needs.
Lord, please meet these people right in the middle of their need. If they know You, may they know You better. If they don't know You, open their eyes to see who You are and how You love. Show me how to pray for them today.
For the woman at the coffee urn, warm any parts of her heart that are cold from pain.
For the man helping himself to a water bottle, be his Living Water.
For the woman pacing the floor with her Chick Fila cup, may her soul settle down in peace.
For the man with the hearing aid, may he hear Your voice loud and clear.
For the woman texting on her pink phone, send her a message of love.
For the man catching a snooze, may he find his rest in You.
For the pregnant woman, give her a healthy baby and a heart to raise it to know and love You.
For the woman on her phone giving her pick-up person directions, be her guiding light.
For the man in the "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" shirt, blow a kiss to his soul.
For the woman who just sauntered in with a cold Diet Coke, refresh her soul. (Prayer pause as LeeBird digs out change for a Diet Coke…ahhh!)
For the man in the red shirt, remind him Your blood ran red when You died for him.
For the man with leg braces, be his firm place to stand.
For the man in army green, may he let You fight for him.
For the woman with the drooping shoulders, may Your love help her to stand tall.
For the woman with multiple tattoos, may she realize her name is engraved on the palms of Your hands.
For the woman lugging a heavy purse, may she cast her burdens on You.
For the two workers behind the customer service desk, serve them a dose of kindness today.
For the sweet young man checking folks in, may he check in with You and get his cup filled.
For the repair men working behind the scenes, fix any broken places in their souls.
For the woman, Holly, who just sat down beside me, may our conversation turn to You.
Holly and I had a sweet visit. As I heard a bit of her story, God gave me plenty of specific prayers to pray for her. I'll keep those between God and me.
The one-hour oil change ended up taking closer to two and a half hours. Although I ended up being late to my next appointment, the prolonged wait felt like mere minutes. With new folks milling about all the time, I never ran out of people to pray for. Time flies when I'm people watching with Jesus.
Lord, thank you for showing me a different way to wait. Thank you for opening my eyes to the once-in-a-lifetime mix of people in my midst. People You love. People You see. People who need prayer. In Jesus' Name I pray, AMEN
Do you have some waiting room moments on your calendar for this week? What do you think of the idea of people watching with Jesus?

When it’s Time for a Reroute

Anytime now, I will have a new adjective with which to describe myself…divorced. The word feels heavy on my heart and tastes bitter on my tongue.
I truly hoped things would turn out differently, but that hope is gone now. I'm grappling for acceptance. I will soon be divorced. Period.
I have to let go of how I pictured my life panning out. No growing old together. No holding hands at our sons' weddings. No grandbabies crawling in bed between us in the middle of the night.
I grieve those nevers and many others. And you know what? That's ok. Divorce steals future memories and taints ones already lived. Grief is an appropriate response. My loved ones don't like to see me sad, and the people pleaser in me hates causing them any discomfort. But, I am, indeed, sad. I'm not going to wallow in it, but I do need the time to process it.
While the hope for a restored marriage is gone, my hope in God is strong and solid. I sense God gently nudging me in a new direction with the same destination.
It's like finding an alternate route when the one you're on has a "road closed" sign. You don't throw the whole trip out the window because of one road closure. You reroute and get back moving toward the destination. But, sometimes, you have to take a pit stop and figure things out. I think that's where I am right now.
Is it time for a reroute for you, too? Let's go to our Navigator for direction.
I don't know where to go from here. I thought my future was set, and now everything feels so up-in-the-air. But, I know my feelings aren't fact. I know nothing catches You by surprise. I know You've got me, Lord. I trust You even when I can't see the next step in front of me.
Though my path is changing, "Your word is [still] a lamp for my feet, [and] a light on my path" (Psalm 119:105 NIV).
"Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV).
Bring me out of this "in the dark" season and into a new dawn. "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life" (Psalm 143:8 NIV).
To You, I entrust my life.
To You, I entrust my life.
To You, I entrust my life.
Right this moment, I make a conscious decision to trust You completely. I will not buy in to my up-and-down emotions. I will submit this moment and the ones after it to You trusting You to make my path straight and true and honest (Proverbs 3:5-6).
"Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:5-11 NIV).
I choose to follow You, Lord, wherever You lead me.
In the name of Jesus I pray, AMEN
Have you reached a roadblock in your life? I'd love to pray for you as you seek God's new direction.