Jul 28, 2013

The Lord Totally Engineered...a Bike Ride?

I was almost back to the car when I rode past them: a young couple pushing their baby in a stroller and walking their dog.  At a glance, they had it all—youth, new baby, faithful friend.  Then the Lord spoke to me.

“As happy as they are right now, they are missing something because they don’t have Me.”
This morning, Don and I went to a local greenway trail for our weekly bike ride.  As usual, Don’s stamina outlasted mine. So I left the main trail to head back to the car and he kept going. That’s when I saw them.

The Lord totally engineered our separate routes, or I would have been talking to Don.
I felt a sadness at the Lord’s message, and wondered if I needed to say something to them.  By this time, though, I was quite a bit past them.  Not sure if I should go back, I decided to make the “God-if-you-want-me-to-say-something-to-them-bring-them-to-me” prayer.  I figured they probably walked down from the neighborhood that bordered the trail.  I continued to pray for them and talk to the Lord about them as I loaded my bike onto the rack, certain that was the end of it.

The Lord totally engineered my prayer, because He knew where they were headed.

Sure enough, I saw them walking up the final leg of the access trail toward the parking lot.  My thoughts raced almost as fast as my heart.

“OK, what do I say?  What if they already know Jesus and I got it wrong, what will they think?  Maybe I could say something close, like ‘God wants you to know He has so much more for you’.  Or do I go ahead and tell them they need Jesus?  Will they think I’m presumptuous?  What if they already know Him?  WhatamIgonnasay??”
“And anyway, maybe they parked on the other side of the lot and I won’t have to say anything.”

The Lord totally engineered my parking place, right next to their truck.
We made small talk as they walked by me and around to the other side of the truck to put the baby inside and the stroller in back.  The mom then got in the truck and the dad walked around toward me. 

I took a deep breath and walked toward the man.  He smiled as he walked toward his door.
“Excuse me, but I think God wants you to know something.”

He paused and waited. I had his attention.
“As happy as you are right now, God has so much more for you. He has a whole lot more for you than what you have right now, as good as that is.”

He said, “OK, thanks,” and got into his truck.  As they drove by, we all waved.
Then the wrestling match began.

“I can’t believe I didn’t have more boldness! If it were Don, he would have talked to them about Jesus.  I can’t believe I didn’t say what I heard – can’t believe I messed up again!”
The Lord totally engineered my “processing”, leading my by His Spirit.

As my thoughts rambled, I realized I had made this all about me.  But it’s not about me, it’s about the young couple who needs Jesus. Their reaction didn’t matter; the words God gave me and obedience to speak them did. While I did pray before I spoke and I did speak to them, I knew God told me to deliver a more direct message.  I knew my flesh got in the way and I missed an opportunity. And I knew that I had disobeyed God - partial obedience is disobedience.
So I prayed to a merciful God. I asked God to use the words I spoke in some way – to redeem what I had messed up.  I asked Him for the young couple’s salvation, asked Him to bring others to them with similar messages. I prayed a blessing over them.  I thanked the Lord for giving me the opportunity to share His message.

The Lord totally engineered our conversation on the way home, because He knew the words I needed to hear.
When Don got back, I told him what happened…complete with how I had messed up the Lord’s message. After I finished my self-bashing (yes, sadly, it was still about me), he responded.

“You stepped out and spoke to them, and the Lord will use it. Yes, maybe you could have said more, but I think it’s great that you talked to them. The Lord will use that.  And you don’t have to worry about whether or not they already know Jesus – I’ve shared Jesus many times with people who already know Him. They just thank me for sharing and appreciate that I did. You’ll have other chances, so maybe next time you can say something like, “As I walked by you, the Lord spoke to my spirit and said…”
I have the most amazing husband on the planet. No kidding!  Don showed me total mercy—God’s mercy. My shoulders relaxed as the burden of condemnation fell away.

The Lord totally engineered the Cross and Resurrection, because He knew our sinful natures.
I apologized to the Lord for disobeying Him.

I thanked Him for His mercy, and received His forgiveness.
I thanked Him for my husband who demonstrated God’s mercy to me.

I thanked Him that He is WAY bigger than my mistakes.
I thanked Him for the miraculous timing of all these events coming together today.

I thanked Him again for sharing His heart with me and giving me the privilege of speaking His message to total strangers.

And I thanked Him for the opportunities He’ll bring me in the future.  I plan to be ready!

Today’s Challenge: When has the Lord engineered events in your life to give you a message for someone else?  How did you respond?  How will you respond next time?


  1. Such an encouraging word. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Glad you were encouraged, Tina! Thank you for your comment, and will talk to you soon!

  2. I appreciate this post. Real, honest, and hopeful.

    1. Thank you, David! I'm glad you saw the hope - the Lord is so gracious with us.

  3. Thank you for posting this! Cannot tell you how many times I have "fallen short". Your post is comforting & encouraging. It's odd how quickly I can lose the eternal perspective & let my pride override the Holy Spirit, ugh! My prayer is that all of us will, in the future, be able to treat those 'strangers' as we wish some other believer would minister to or treat our pre-believing loved ones. Robin

    1. Amen, and amen! Pride, yes, that's exactly what it is...combined with fear of man. Thank you for your comment, RR!

  4. Oh my gosh Mary, I have a post just like this scheduled for September! Yes, I bumbled along and beat myself up for not doing a better job. But I have to trust that I stepped out, which was a victory of sorts, and that He'll use it in some way.

    Good for you for stepping out. Can't wait to hear about the next time!

    1. Thank you, Susan! As we've said before, we do have much in common. I read some of your posts also where I just nodded and smiled the whole way through.
      And thank you again for the tweet - appreciate it. Have a blessed weekend!


Thank you for your G-rated comments!