Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
“I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
- Romans 9:17
by Damaris Avila
My husband and I attended a friend’s memorial yesterday and it truly was a celebration of life. Friends and family gathered to share stories and memories of childhood and college shenanigans. It was sweet to hear all the amazing things everyone shared about our friend. We lamented with great sorrow that we hadn’t known him longer.
Our daughters’ played soccer together and we were immediately smitten by this sweet family. They’d stop by to get us a black coffee and tea before arriving to our Saturday morning soccer games. Their sweet gesture never failed. The taco dinner that we talked about never happened and all we could do yesterday was mourn the dinners and laughs we didn’t have. We tried to focus on the smiles, coffee, conversations and fun, yet stressful soccer games, we did have together. How quickly life ended for him at 43. All those present cried and mourned that our friend was gone.
As my husband and I left the service, we gazed around us to see if we had missed anyone. We didn’t want to leave the service without greeting all our friends. There was this sense of wanting to stay to reminisce and comfort one another. But our girls awaited us and we had to leave.
Feeling sad, yet grateful to have called him our friend, we eagerly picked up our girls with hugs and kisses in abundance. To keep the celebration going we decided to have a family dinner at our favorite local restaurant. We sat down at one of the booths excited to order our hamburgers, fries and milkshake. Yes, this would be a night to dine on comfort food!
As time went on, more and more people arrived and filled the booths, including the one behind us. As we talked and asked the girls about their day, all of a sudden we hear a gentlemen scream “call 911.” It took us a moment to understand what he was saying until he began yelling and screaming it over and over. I quickly turned around to see a young lady facedown on the table and not moving. The husband yelled “something happened to my wife, please call 911,” as he tried to dial himself. A moment later he lifted her head back towards our booth and here she was just centimeters away from me. Her eyes were shut and she appeared to be unconscious. Without even a moment to think, I reached out and placed my hand on her back. I instinctively started praying over her for healing. I prayed that Jesus would wake her up and that she would be ok. I prayed for healing on her entire body from her head to her toes. It was simple prayers that I kept repeating over and over in the name of Jesus.
Soon after, she tilted her head further back and so I found myself cradling her head in my arms. Her husband spoke to her loudly, “honey are you there. Honey are you ok.” Finally she responded, “yes, I can hear you. I’m hot.” My youngest daughter handed me the menu so I started fanning her face. I looked at the fear in my girls’ eyes and I just said, “girls, pray!” My husband, frozen in fear, moved his lips in prayer. It felt like an eternity that we waited for the paramedics to arrive. I’m sure it wasn’t as long as it felt but everyone kept asking, “Where are they? Can’t they find the restaurant? Are they here yet?” We were desperate to see help walk through the door.
They finally arrived and took over this sweet mother’s care. Her son, roughly 18 months old, cried desperately for his mommy.
We looked at one another in such despair. What was happening to this sweet, young mom. We were silent until the server came back to our table to remind us we needed to order our dinner.
As I think about this incident and the frailty of her life against the service we had just attended, I can’t help it but realize just how fragile and short and precious life is. We have no idea when our time will come. Yet while we are here on earth it is ever so clear to me that there is purpose. There isn’t just purpose in the big picture of our life and what we will accomplish, but there is purpose in the every day, moment to moment situations we find ourselves in.
In the same way God raised Esther “for such a time as this,” to save the Israelites from total extermination, God is raising you, or has raised you up for a purpose. I have no doubt that God wanted us at this table yesterday. He placed our family in the precise location to pray over this desperate husband, anxious son and unconscious mother, that His power might be displayed and His name proclaimed.
Pharaoh, choosing to disobey God and to not let the Israelites free from under his oppression in Egypt, was irrefutably used to display God’s power and His name was proclaimed. Pharaoh was stubborn and rebellious and unlike Esther, he did not receive God’s blessings for obedience. Instead, his demise was evidently at hand. But nevertheless, God was still glorified!
So today I want to ask you, for what purpose has He raised you up? Ask God to show you. Watch for interruptions in your life today where God may want to use you.
May He shower you with His many blessings as you seek Him in prayer.
Damaris U. Avila lives with her loving husband and their two inquisitive and sweet girls. Through personal storytelling, she invites women to share and see themselves in God's story. She leads young girls through BeYOUtiful Girl Time, a sisterhood where girls are encouraged to become the women God designed them to be.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."