“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Have you been in a place outside of your regular morning routine when you heard sad news about a family member’s death or friend’s medical diagnosis? On the morning of my grandfather’s death, I was eating breakfast downtown. I can count on one hand the number of times that I have eaten breakfast downtown in the past few years, so it was not a place where everyone knows my name. I just wanted someone that I knew and loved to be with me in that moment. There I was on a patio nearly empty except for one couple. I was alone.
Shortly after I ordered the waiter stopped by my table to ask if I could pray for him. I had not said anything about being a Christian nor was I reading a Bible or wearing a cross. There was no visible marker, but God made the invisible, my faith visible to him. I replied that I would be happy to pray for him and l was a Christian. He knelt beside my table and shared about a situation that looked impossible now moving in a positive direction. I could see the excitement on his face while mentioning the encouragement from men of faith along the way when his prayers seemed unheard. I offered some encouragement and insights from a native Nashvillian’s perspective which he had wanted and then prayed for him.
As he disappeared behind a glass door, a smile grew as I felt God nudging me that the waiter’s words to “not give up when things look impossible” were just as much for me as for him. Think about it, the morning that my grandfather died you might have expected the waiter to pray for me, instead of me praying for the waiter. I certainly needed prayer too. God knew what I needed more. I needed a different kind of prayer. Praying for him reminded me of how personal, loving, and encouraging God is and what a joy it is to encourage others in their faith. I received encouragement praying for him as I would have, if he had prayed for me and maybe even more.
We feel most alone when someone or something is taken away such as the death of a family member or friend or the loss of a relationship, job, good health, or dream. The next time you feel the hole of loneliness smooth the pain with the balm of encouraging one another. There are times when you will feel the most loved by God when you feel the most alone. Look for someone to encourage and for God to show His love for you in an unexpected way. Remember you are never alone.