When we first listed our home in Colorado I saw a post on a local Facebook page offering moving boxes. I jumped at the offer and picked up all the boxes we could need, including some specialty boxes for our TVs. As we unpacked here in Morton I thought I should pay that gift forward and so I placed a note on Facebook marketplace offering the boxes to someone who could use them. They were given to me and I wanted to gift them to someone else! Within a few minutes of posting the offer I got a reply from a guy named Gary. He said he could really use them and would be around in the morning to pick them up!
The next morning rolled around and Gary pulled up with his wife in their pick up truck. I noticed right away as I went out to meet them that there was a wheelchair in the bed of this older truck. It became clear that the chair belonged to Gary as his wife got out and offered to help me load up the pile of boxes. She shared how he had been ill and struggled to walk and so relied on the chair to get around. I had prayed that morning that God would lead and guide me as we start this new season in Illinois. I didn’t expect Him to answer so quickly and powerfully, but then God works like that sometimes, doesn’t He?
As we placed the last box on the bed of the truck and placed the wheel chair on the pile to stop it blowing off I heard a tap on the rear glass of the truck. It was Gary asking me to come to the truck door to speak. He thanked me for the gift and I sensed at that moment that this might be a ‘God appointment’, as I like to call them. So I asked if it would be ok to pray with them, right there in our new street as complete strangers. He quickly agreed and to my surprise this guy held out his hand to hold mine while we prayed. His wife did the same thing. So here we were strangers holding hands in the street with a truck full of empty boxes. I asked God to lead and guide my prayers and I just simply prayed for them. I prayed for strength for Gary and his wife with his illness. I also prayed that if it was God’s will, would He heal Gary and allow him to walk again?
We finished the prayer, said goodbye and off they went. It wasn’t more than half an hour that my phone pinged again and it was Gary saying thanks. I thought that would be the end of our interaction and so I said remember Christmas is a reminder that God exists and loves you. Gary again thanked me. About an hour later my phone pinged with another message from Gary. He told me how they had got home and a plumber was there to fix a problem in his house. Gary’s wife quickly went in to show the plumber the problem. Gary shared how he was sat alone in the truck with his chair piled high in the truck bed on top of a pile of boxes and he needed to go to the bathroom in the worst way. He then shared how he remembered what I had prayed and thought he should try and walk. So he pulled himself out of his truck and slowly, carefully walked into the house. It was something he hadn’t been able to do for months. His wife took one look at him and wept. Gary again thanked me for my prayer. I replied that God is the one who is powerful and He hears our prayers as He loves and cares for us.
This story isn’t about me at all as I’m just a regular chap, I’m not even sure of hardly any of the details of why Gary was using the chair. But I do know this: God exists and God is at work. If we ask Him, He will use us for the big and small things. I wonder if the reason I don’t see more things like Gary’s story is that I am so focused on my story I don’t slow down enough to see God’s story and how He’s connecting with a broken world that is all around us. This is a ‘Yea God!’ story. Are you willing and ready for God to use you? I am and it’s wild to have a front row seat as I watch Him do more than I ask or imagine.