Welcome to another glorious guest post in our Everyday Jesus series! This week, my friend Christy shares a very cool and powerful God-encounter with us about how a simple stop at a restaurant was part of a much bigger encounter with Christ. Here’s to Him being our Bread of Life! Show dear Christy some love both here and over at her place
As a churchgoer, I was always taught to “pray without ceasing,” but I can’t say that I honestly understood that phrase until a few years ago. More or less, I began to understand that if I was in constant communication with God, and I listened for His answers to prayer, instead of just giving Him my list of needs, The Spirit would guide me throughout my day and, in a sense, He would speak to me.
Now, listening to The Spirit is still a relatively new concept to me; so when He told me to go to Panera one fateful day last August, I was a little skeptical. Thankfully, I obeyed.
Mind you, there is really nothing that I love on Panera’s menu (and I almost always prefer Starbucks to the big P when it comes to coffee and workspace) but on this particular day, there was something inside of me that just knew I had to grab my keys and speed on over for a cup o’ chai… STAT!
Fast-forward ten minutes to me in Panera, watery chai in hand, plopping down into one of the worn, leather chairs by the door. I tried to do some work, but quickly realized there were no outlets and my computer battery was dead. Frustrated, I slinked down in my chair, and glanced around. People watching would have to do, for a bit.
Looking ahead, my eyes fell on the twenty-something girl with ringlet curls excitedly talking at the table across from me. She sat with a friend, and I could tell by their conversation (which I eavesdropped on for quite a while) that they loved The Lord.
Being new to town, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I needed friends, and these two seemed like prime candidates; however, if I admitted that I’d been eavesdropping on their conversation, I wasn’t so sure that they’d want to hang out with me… if you know what I mean. Then I remembered! “Wait! The Spirit! He told me to come here. That’s what this is about! I think Jesus might be arranging me some friendships in this city!”
Leaping out of my chair, I made my awkward approach… “Hey! I know this is weird, but I’m Christy. I’ve been listening to your conversation and I think we need to be friends…” and the rest was history.
Today, I’m writing only one room away from my curly-haired, Jesus freak of a roommate, Sarah (whom I met at Panera!) It blows my mind to think about how many of my current friendships can be traced back to this one, Spirit-prompted trip to a bakery. What if I’d quenched The Spirit and gone to Starbucks instead? Well, I probably would have completed my work, but I shutter to think about the people I now know (and love) that would have been absent from my life if I’d made a different decision.
I could have missed out on a church family, a roommate, a boyfriend, and a whole lot of spiritual growth! My life wouldn’t be the same today had I done what made SENSE, and ignored a seemingly random desire to go to a restaurant that I historically disliked. God works in mysterious ways, and it does my heart good to see how His fingerprints were all over my cup of chai that day.
Of course, the point of my story is not that I did something right, or that I deserved the precious gift that Jesus gave to me in the form of a roommate. It is exactly the opposite. I deserve only death, yet Jesus chose to give me abundant life in Him, which includes good, sweet gifts on earth.
And on the days when I feel like God isn’t near, when I wonder if I’ll ever have a God sighting again, I am thankful to have tangible evidence that He speaks (to me) and He gives (to me) and He loves (even me).
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
I am of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31)
I am holy and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12)
His Grace is sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion. (Philippians 1:6)
The Spirit of God, that raised Jesus from the dead, lives inside of me. (Romans 8:11)
I know all of this to be true. Especially when I look at Sarah, whom Jesus introduced me to at Panera.
Christy is a kindergarten teacher at Campus Clubs in Macon, GA. She hopes to begin the graduate program for education at Georgia College and State University this summer. In the meantime, she is enjoying her new friends in Macon, and learning to joyfully see Jesus in all of life’s little things. You can keep up with Christy via her personal blog Life as A Bike.