Was out walking and witnessing with some friends the other night. We had various opportunities to speak to some people that evening. We were down by the river at a festival and about ready to head back to the church and call it a night. As we were walking there were two sets of steps to choose from, one closer and one further away. We chose the closer.
These steps leading up from the festival area, close to the rivers banks, were pretty steep and long. As I neared the top section of the steps I came up to a woman who was starting to slow down and even struggle somewhat. To be honest, I was starting to slow down some as well. When we are walking and witnessing we try to listen to the Holy Spirit to lead us when to approach someone. Admittedly, our “spiritual” ears aren’t always in tune so we do the best we can, probably hoping to err on the side of speaking more often than not. We look for opportunities and many would be surprised at how often people want to talk.
I arrived at the top of the stairs just ahead of the woman. I felt like I should speak to this woman I had never before seen in my life and I said, “I wasn’t sure either one of us were going to make it up those steps.” She immediately responded, “well I struggle with severe arthritis.” I replied to her, “I’m sorry, would it be okay if I prayed with you for your arthritis?” With absolutely no hesitation, she said, “Please do, I would like that.”
We stopped right there just beyond the top of those steps and she reached her hand out to me and we prayed together. After our prayer my friends and I spoke with her and her husband for a long time. We talked about church and different beliefs, but focused on what we believe about Jesus Christ. She was genuinely interested and genuinely relieved.
God had worked this encounter out in full detail. We had chosen the right set of steps at the right time to be walking next to a woman struggling with severe arthritis. God had pre-ordained this meeting. When my friends and I had left the church earlier that evening we had not planned such an encounter, but God had.