I was admiring my flowers and picturing how they would look in my classroom. I knew my students would be blessed by this lovely expression of spring. I thought, Oh God, these are so beautiful! The Lord responded to my expression of delight by telling me to give my flowers to Merry, the teacher whose classroom was next to mine.
By all appearances, Merry was the model Christian schoolteacher. She was stoic, disciplined and strict, with the highest academic standards. She rarely smiled and didn’t give an inch.
Unfortunately, the students did not appreciate her selfless efforts, and her contract had not been renewed for the following year. Nevertheless, Merry was determined to work out the terms of her current contract to the best of her ability. It was an agonizing time in her life. Day after day she had to face the same students who were responsible for her dismissal. They even bragged about how they “got her fired.”
I empathized with Merry, but I was not particularly receptive to the Lord’s directive. “What?” I replied. “But Lord, these are my flowers. Art gave them to me. They are special.”
I waited. The Lord did not respond. Finally, I said to my husband, “Art, I think the Lord wants me to give these flowers to Merry.”
“Well, you’d better do what He says,” Art replied.
I was hoping he would say, “That’s not God.” We continued our journey in silence while I tried to bargain with the Lord. “OK, Lord, I’ll tell You what I’ll do. I’ll stop by Merry’s room and see how she’s doing.”
When I arrived at Merry’s door, she was already in her classroom, arranging some flowers in a vase. I thought maybe I was off the hook. “Look, Lord, she already has flowers!” No response from Him.
I greeted her, “Hi, Merry. How are you doing?” She answered, “I’m OK.” She did not smile but continued purposefully arranging the flowers. “How pretty,” I commented. “Who gave you the flowers?”
“Oh, these aren’t for me,” she explained. “One of my parents has been helping me in the library all year. I stopped by Albertson’s this morning and picked these up for her. It’s just a little thank-you.”
My heart leaped within me. Suddenly, I understood. Instead of thinking about herself and her circumstance, she was thinking about blessing someone else—and the Lord was watching. He wanted to bless Merry in return. He wanted her to know how pleased He was with her.
Pointing to the pot I carried, she asked, “What are those flowers? They’re beautiful!”Instantly, I handed them to her and said: “These are for you. They’re from the Lord.” It was as though the floodgates of heaven opened up. “He wants you to know how much He loves you and how pleased He is with your heart. He has not forgotten you. He is with you. He will see you through this.”
At that, my stoic colleague broke. She began to sob, releasing the pain she had kept hidden in her heart. A sense of peace and even joy came over her. She had never allowed herself to show or receive affection before, but that morning she allowed God to embrace her through my arms.
When students began to enter the room, I left. But on the way to my own classroom, I realized I had learned something. Nothing is hidden from our God. He knows those who need His touch—and those He can use to carry His presence. He looks for willing vessels to be His hands, feet and mouthpiece on Earth.
I thank Him that He made me willing that day. And I challenge you: Will you be a carrier of His presence to this generation? Will you choose to become God-conscious rather than self-absorbed so that He can show you what He sees and help you to love with His love? Will you acknowledge that everything you have is His and surrender it for His sake? God may just have another Merry He wants to touch through you.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 6-6-2011
This week ask the Lord to help you see what He sees and make you willing to carry His presence wherever He leads. Ask Him to help you be aware of the needs around you and to show you how to meet those needs with His love. Pray for those affected by the horrific weather patterns across the nation, especially those suffering from the loss of loved ones along with everything they owned. Pray for those responding to the disasters and bringing aid. Pray that we as a nation would have repentant hearts to turn from our wicked ways and turn back to the Lord. Continue to pray for the peace and protection of Jerusalem, all of Israel, our president, and our borders and for revival to spread in our nation. I John 2:15; I John 3:18; 2 Chron. 7:14
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