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WHY Am I Here?

I walked in to another Friday afternoon/evening at the very busy grocery store where I work. I was so tired…kind of wishing I could just have a lazy day.  I discovered my position for the shift would be “the cage” (as we call it).  That’s an odd position with sometimes unusual people frequenting that register.  It’s also kind of isolated from the bustle of the rest of the store as it is kind of an “express” check-out.

I wondered why today of all days, I was placed there.  I mean, what was I there for?  We all do that from time to time…why do this and why do that, the result is going to be the same.  Same, same, same.  Blah, blah, blah…

My very first customers were two young women, both with young children.  One mom had an almost 3-year-old in the buggy.  They both were buying baby food and formula.  While checking the other mom out (which required a manager) the other mom told me her son was “special needs”, blind.  She proceeds to tell me their story – which eerily paralleled mine and my son’s – with all the familiar struggles.  I told her a little of the story of my son’s birth and we both teared up because they were so similar.

She told me she knew her son was her “angel” because it took him having him with all the issues he had to meet God.  I had to fight back tears as I listened because I’ve said that about Matt a thousand times, even way before I was saved.

She shared with me all the never-things she was told her son would experience and I told her to not listen that anything was possible with God, to keep going forward with Him and believing He was in control.  I told her about them saying that if my son lived to be a year old he probably would never walk or talk, that he was now almost 33.  The other young woman jumped in and said her child was developmentally delayed and told me of the negative and bleak picture doctors and specialists had painted for her baby’s future.

Boom.  There it was.

Had I not been assigned that particular position at that particular time I would have missed meeting these women.  I wouldn’t have had the chance to let them “see” down the road what is possible in their children’s future when their present was so bleak and uncertain.  That’s why I was there. Take it back a little further – had my life not fallen apart and I hadn’t applied and got hired there, I would have missed that golden moment where God met us…in the grocery store.

It occurred to me, because one of the managers was there – that I could have…maybe SHOULD have…kept my mouth shut, but I didn’t.  God’s teaching me that EVERY single encounter is not by chance and with every encounter comes an opportunity to speak of what He’s done in my life. THAT is why I’m there.

That’s why YOU are where you are too.  You don’t have to preach, you don’t have to quote scriptures, you just need to speak.  Tell it.  Tell how God has brought you through.  I dare say, every single person I meet when I am behind that register is going through something awful.  Some are hanging on by a thread and others are on their way to giving up and giving in.  You never know what a positive, God-led word will do for someone.  That’s why you’re there!

That’s why on my worst days, no matter how I feel I’m going to choose to believe there something much bigger and grander going on than just working at a grocery store and I look for those precious moments through which I see His hand.  Someone needs to know it’s going to be okay.  Someone needs to just be seen and heard; someone needs to be smiled at made to feel like they matter and someone going through something you have already been through needs to know someone understands.

It’s not about us at all.  It’s about them and showing them who God is and what He has done (Isaiah 43:10, Genesis 50:20).  So if you’re feeling like you don’t know why you’re where you are offer up a prayer to God to be used and watch what happens.  Be an encourager; be a light.  That’s why you’re here!



While in the kitchen with some friends, we had a discussion about spatulas; flippers; egg turners. We picked up different shapes and sizes of what we were talking about and each of us called these kitchen utensils something different. What do you call it?

spatula Whatever you call it, you use if for what you need to use it for. The name you call it doesn’t change its usefulness or its purpose in YOUR kitchen. It may be used for something else (and called something else) in someone else’s kitchen but that won’t change the fact that it is what it is! My son uses a spatula as a spoon, a “picker-upper”, a knife because he doesn’t want to look for anything else. When he has it in his hand, he uses it and makes it be anything he needs for it to be.

FAITH is like that. What is faith, exactly? The “Bible word” for it is pistis which means conviction of the truth of anything; the character of the One who can be relied on; persuasion – the moral conviction, reliance upon Christ for salvation; assurance.

FAITH is just that. Some have faith in their faith only and when it wavers, those believing in their ability to believe and have faith are knocked off their feet. FAITH in Jesus & God (that They are who They say They are, will do what They say They will) is much more reliable! Even though what goes on around us isn’t pretty or fun, THEY remain rock solidly the same.

You can call it whatever you want to. Some may name your faith – radical, charismatic, crazy…if you act like you believe. We’re all different and FAITH looks different on each one of us. Acting on FAITH antagonizes common sense. It irritates some because frankly it just makes no sense. Your FAITH may be active in your life in different ways for different things. FAITH works best for us when we exercise it in every area of life, not just some things. Here’s the thing. FAITH is just like a spatula in my son’s hands; you can use it any time you like for anything you need.

Whatever the need – health, financial, fear, depression, etc, FAITH in Jesus Christ is as accessible as a spatula in your kitchen. One thing’s for sure – if you never USE it you’ll never know how FAITH can help. If you never use the spatula for anything other than what you have always used it for, you won’t believe the other uses for it you’re told about. You can talk about it all you want, call it what you want but when the trials come unless you know Him and what He has to offer it may not mean much. When no other resources can be found to see you through, will your FAITH in God be enough?

Sometimes my son grabs a spatula because he just doesn’t want to look for anything else. He knows he can do what he needs with it so in his mind there’s no reason for search for anything else. That’s a great concept related to FAITH. The ONLY thing we NEED is Him – if we “grab” Him first He will help us get our hands on whatever else we need!