Convenience Store Obedience


A number of years ago while I was driving through Texas City, I stopped at a local convenience store to get a cup of coffee. There was no one else in the store except the cashier… and I understood the Holy Spirit prompting me to witness Jesus to her. As usual, thoughts come up of every reason in the world not to do what the unction was telling me to do.

I thought to myself, “She looks tired and I know she doesn’t need someone shoving Jesus down her throat today.” I easily convinced myself to leave the store with my coffee and get started for home in Webster, about thirty miles away. The further I drove away from the store, the more I was convicted that I had not done what I was supposed to do. By the time I arrived at my home I was very miserable in disobedience. I made a decision right then that the next time I was in Texas City I would surely go by that convenience store again and talk to that woman.

Two weeks later when I was in Texas City again I thought about the cashier, so I drove on over to that part of town to talk to her. I pulled into the parking lot and sat there for a while just staring at the store. The glass windows in the front of the store revealed that the whole store and all the items in the store were gone. There was a large sign on the doors that said “Closed- Out of Business.”

There came an inner witness… a thought that said, “You do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it… or don’t do it at all.”

All I could do is repent. I had disappointed Father God again. I keep asking God to teach me and use me and to show me who is ready for salvation… but my life is the training. My response to the unction is the training… and fear is the distractive enemy that I have allowed to trip me up and not do what the unction of the Holy Spirit desires.

So another month went by and as I was driving through Texas City I got a picture in my mind of another store over on Texas Avenue on the south side of town. I went inside to buy a cup of coffee and the same cashier was working at this new location. I looked around and saw too many people in the store and knew better than to try to witness to her with so many interruptions waiting to happen. Unbelievably… I walked out of that store just like I did the last time. I drove at least eight blocks before I pulled the car off the road and started screaming at myself.

“No, no, no… I’m not going to go through this hell again for weeks on end… I’m going to do what God tells me to do even if everything goes wrong.”

So I turned the car around and drove back to the store and parked. As I was walking in the door, the last customer was walking out of the store. It was obviously a God setup. So I wasted no time so that I might not change my mind again. Sometimes you have to do things just because you’re supposed to. I walked right up to the counter and said, “Excuse me ma’am… but God sent me in here to talk to you about Jesus. Could I talk to you for a few minutes?”

Her answer really surprised me.

“Well… I’m already a Christian, but you are welcome to talk to me if you feel like you need to.” On the inside I began to question God for understanding.

“Then would it be alright if I just talk about whatever comes to mind?”

A customer had just walked in the store and she answered me, “That would be fine… but we need to talk between customers.”

So that is what we did. In between customers I would talk to her about this… and then I talked with her about that. And then when nobody was in the store I thought about the accident I went through so I started telling her about it.

“I was on a construction site and a forty-five ton machine backed up on me and broke both of my legs and then broke my left hip out of joint.”

Within seconds she was crying uncontrollably and then I wished I wasn’t there anymore. I just shut up… standing there wondering what to do with myself. After about two minutes she was trying to open up and talk.

“My son was killed by a drunk driver and we will be seeing him in court on Thursday. I have so many mixed emotions about it all. I want to see him pay for what he did and my heart is not happy about that either. So what do you do in a situation like that?”

My gosh, she was hurting. I didn’t have an answer for anything like this. On the inside I was screaming, “God… what do I do.” On the outside… I would assume I was just staring at her. Then my mouth opened and I just started talking with all the compassion I could muster.

“Ma’am… I don’t know. I know that when I was hurt in that accident, the superintendent of the project was there within seconds and later on a deposition he claimed that he wasn’t even on the job at the time of the accident. He was a very cold person, and I don’t know how the Lord could ask this of me… but it seemed to be very important that I forgive him. I later learned that the only way to set myself free was to do that very thing.”

“Oh God… I know that by now. It’s just so hard,” she said as she was drying the tears from her face. She was much more in control by now.

“I had to forgive that superintendent by faith. I told God that I would agree to forgive because His word says that if I don’t forgive… that He can’t forgive me. The feelings came much later. At one point I was actually praying for the man to get saved. Now isn’t that crazy?”

She answered, “You know… I’ve prayed that prayer once already, but it sounded a little insane. How can you pray for someone who took your son’s life?”

Just then a huge man came into the store, got a large beer and walked up to the counter to pay for it. He saw the look on the lady’s face and looked at me. He looked back in her direction and said, “If this man is bothering you… I can take him out?”

Just looking at the size of the man was enough to convince me that he could do it. I didn’t have time to get scared because she answered him quickly.

“No… he’s a friend. He came here to help me today.”

He paid for his beer and left the store.

“Sorry about that,” she said. “I didn’t mean to get you in trouble.”

I didn’t have any complaints. I thought she had just saved my life. But I kept talking. It seemed like it wouldn’t hurt to wrap this up and get out of there.

“Ma’am, let me say this… and then I better go. It is alright for you to have this man prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But I do believe it would do you a world of good to walk up to that man and forgive him for the tragedy that he brought in your life. You see… you want him to pay for what he did to your son, but he doesn’t have the ability to pay. He can’t bring him back. There is only one way to resolve that debt… and that would be to forgive him. Even if you can’t do it now… maybe another day. It seems that God already has you praying for him.”

She came from behind the counter and gave me a hug. “You have no idea how much I appreciate you coming by today.”

I left the store in peace… and in one piece, thank God. I hope that the Lord used something I had been through to help someone with what they were going through. Remember that… and the next time the Holy Spirit gives you an unction to witness to someone… step out in faith and do it. You already have what they need… even if you don’t know what it is.

John 16:12-15 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth,18 comes, he will guide you into all truth.19 He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine.20 That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. NIV

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