Just Beyond The Storm Is Salvation
Recently God placed a burden on my wife's heart to do a prayer walk in the Bronx community where both she and I work. After weeks of praying and talking about it we finally decided to make it happen- on our date night. We worshiped The Lord and prayed together during our commute. Excited, both for the prayer walk and for dinner after, there wasn't even a hint of a cloud in sight, but a storm was coming.
When we arrived in the neighborhood, I put the car in park, removed the key from the ignition, and in those few seconds my wife and I, unaware of the storm hovering over us spoke words that pierced the awaiting clouds, and suddenly the rain began to fall. Without warning she and I were neck deep in the flood of conflict, and misunderstanding adamantly arguing about what neither of us in that moment could even clearly define.
The conflict lasted a few minutes at most before we became very aware of the storm's origin and purpose. God told us to go, and we went, but we had not anticipated the storm. Recognizing the storm was an attempt to distract, deceive, deny, and destroy we called on the master, spoke to the storm, and the storm settled. After praying, humbling ourselves before God and one another, it was as if the storm never happened. With the joy of the Lord, we hit the streets praying and asking God to lead us to the exact location that He would have us to go. On the way, we noticed a man we would have to pass yelling violently, and incoherently on the phone. I thought for sure this would be a collision of light and darkness, but it was just another storm. This time, easily identified and without fear, we walked through the storm in prayer and peace focused on where God told us to go.
Oh It's On Now!:
There was a certain energy we felt after foiling the devil's plan. Realizing he had just tried to fool us made us hype to get busy for the Lord and embarrass our enemy and opponent by giving everything we had in us to submit to God and resist the devil. Remember when young Kobe tried to bring it to Jordan? Yeah, It was on now!
What's The Rush?:
When we found the location God called us to, we set up shop. We worshiped the Lord singing praises as people passed by looking at us suspiciously. We offered prayer to nearly everyone within the sound of our voice and the overwhelming response from the people was "Sorry, I'm in a rush." A few people stopped, and we prayed for and with them. We had to speed walk alongside some people who were wise enough to not reject prayer but too busy to stop walking. After a while, we decided to regroup. We were amazed by the rush everyone seemed to be in. Where's everyone going? So we prayed something like this- "Lord everyone seems to be in a rush. Too busy to consider you God, so focused on where they're going this afternoon that they won't consider where they're going to spend eternity. God we know this isn't in vein. Thank you for the fruit that we may never see, and for the testimony of being fools for Christ out here in the street. Lead us Lord." Next, we kind of aimlessly walked around the corner and stopped right by a major intersection.
Within a few minutes a young lady crossed the street and walked by us, I asked if she would be okay with us praying for/with her but believed she wouldn't respond at all, or reject our offer in a rush. To our surprise, she stopped on a dime, spun around, and with a smile on her face said "Sure." We introduced ourselves, got to know her a bit and then my wife prayed with her. Upon saying amen we were almost duped again by the sly enemy and his tricks! You see since everyone had been in such a rush, we almost rushed her out of our presence saying "Okay we don't want to keep you long, thank you. God bless you. We are sure you have somewhere to be, but it was nice meeting you." And then the young lady uttered 5 words I pray that I never forget. With her feet planted, and deeply rooted right where she stood she looked at us and said "I'm not in a rush." It must have been the grace of God that kept me from passing out from astonishment. After regaining our composure we began to share the good news of Jesus Christ. I nervously fumbled through a long winded version of the gospel starting all the way back in Genesis, hoping I wouldn't mess this moment up. The truth is my words could never save anyone, all I'm good for saving is maybe a seat for my wife in the back row at church. Thankfully, The Lord's living kindness was softening her heart, giving here understanding by the Holy spirit and leading her to repentence. After hearing the gospel The young lady eagerly prayed out loud with us on a crowded steet corner in the Bronx placing her faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin and everlasting life.
The Glory & The Celebration:
After leading our friend to Christ we were practically skipping back toward our car we were so thrilled. That's when the glory of God encompassed us pricking the hearts of men as we passed them by without saying a single word. A group of maybe 7 men were gathered and one called out to us as we passed, I turned and went back to where they were. They asked me if I knew of a drug program they could attend to get clean. I gave them a card with resource numbers, and of course offered prayer. They all agreed, and we prayed with/for them. My wife and I could barely contain ourseleves. The bliss, the joy, the exhiliration of being used by God is beyond even comprehension at times. Lastly, right before we got in the car we realized we hadn't taken any pictures to document the day. We asked a man if he would mind taking a photo of us. He said sure. He took the picture and asked us to make sure that it was good, we said it's okay thank you sir as to not keep him, and then he said "I'm not in a rush." We didn't minister to the man but certainly took it as another word from the Lord confirming His presence with us. After it all we went and had an amazing dinner at one of our favorite local places to eat, followed by coffee.
Couples For Christ:
I cannot imagine a better way to nuture marriages, and relationships than to co-labor in the faith. It's an experience like no other developing an unbreakable bond, a seamless connection, an unconditional love, and a full trust in God as we submit to Him together and live in light of eternity.