Unexpected gifts from God.

I woke up this morning a little bleary eyed. That’s nothing unusual, except this week has been a really busy one and so I was especially tired. I scrambled from under the warmth of the duvet, glanced at my phone and opened a devotional email which had just landed in my inbox.

It was an excerpt from a book by a US author.  She’s spent the last 3 years helping her husband ease his way to Heaven after an unimaginable fight with a terminal illness.  I read her words; she talked honestly of walking through the violent fire of suffering, all the while knowing (inexplicably) that God was there.   

My heart jumped; in lots of different ways, I knew exactly what she was talking about. And as I sat there, pre-coffee, absorbing her words, there was a sudden nudge in the spiritual ribs;  

Send her a message.

Well, that’s quite ridiculous.  (thought I). 

First of all, she’s a well-known author, she’s a stranger, she’ll never get it. Plus what on earth do I have to say, that can possibly touch the edges of her pain?

Send her a message.

Ok, ok!  So I found her website and sent a message.  I’m not sure I even knew what to say, except to thank her for pouring out her heart despite the violent storm she must be facing.  As I was about to hit ‘send’, a verse popped into my head;

Though my heart and flesh may fail, God is my portion and strength forever.

So I added that too. Now lest anyone think I’m holy with super-spiritual ears, this is pretty far from the truth.  I think I view my relationship with God in very practical terms.   He is holy, unknowable and all-powerful.  I am not.   But as He knows me so well,  I think it’s best to always be brutally honest with Him and if I get a nudge to do something, even if it makes me cringe, I (try) to do it anyway. 

But even then, I still often second-guess myself;  Was that the right thing to do?  Maybe I didn’t hear God at all? 

Well, today was a good day because this afternoon at about 4pm, a reply swung its surprising way into my inbox.   

The reply was overwhelmed, gracious and told me that today was the first day she was speaking in public, since her husband went to be with Jesus.   She was doing everything for the first time on her own, feeling up-ended, adrift and without strength.  

And then she’d opened her email and found an message sent by an unsure sleepy-eyed person from another country, who felt like sending her a Bible verse about God’s strength, who is there even when our ‘hearts fail’.

This whole experience has left me marvelling (if that’s still a word) again at the extreme goodness of God.  He loves us so much, that despite sometimes having to go through extreme times, He sends us little reminders along the way that He’s still there, still with us, still propping us up.

In all honesty, I felt a bit silly sending that message, but I’m so glad I did.  Some days in our lives we need a reminder of God’s goodness, other days, we get to be part of reminding someone else.