The year of 2020 (where an unprecedented event, Covid, attacked the world) brought fear, anxiety and despair to many. Some people didn’t see God working or questioned, “Where was God while we endured this? Does he see what’s happening to us?”
Despite all this, I saw Him (and heard Him) in the most inconspicuous incident. It showed me to believe what I hear in my spirit, not to question what I hear and to act upon what I hear.
In John, chapter 10, Jesus explains to the Pharisees, that He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. He goes onto say that because we know Him we will recognize His voice.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:4, NIV
I recognized his voice that day. But like sheep, I didn’t know where he was leading me. All I knew for sure, was that I needed to follow.
At the end of 2020, I hired a Fieldstone craftsman to repair the wall in the back of my house that had slid forward from years of ground settling. It needed to be handset so I needed someone with artistic experience. Since it was manually done, it wouldn’t be cheap; I recall my husband not being happy with paying to get it repaired. I recall feeling guilt that we weren’t trying to do it ourselves. What I didn’t realize when I hired Jerry, was that he was divinely placed in my path for a reason. It was not just to fix that wall.
I was on the phone with my cousin when the doorbell rang. He had finished the job so I knew he needed the remaining payment for the contracted job. So, I begin to write out the check for the remaining balance, and I hear (inaudibly but clearly understood) God telling me to give him the ornament. In a quick second, I say to myself, “Why the ornament?” This was an ornament that I had purchased just recently; It was a Jim Shore nativity scene that I bought online that just got delivered a few days ago, in fact, I wasn’t even sure yet where I was going to put it. I had contemplated a few places to display it, but each time I set it down, it didn’t look like it belonged there. I continue to question God because although my soul heard what he said, my physical brain told me why on earth would he want a Joseph and Mary ornament? Wouldn’t I look stupid walking out there with a check and an ornament? He will think I am just the craziest of the crazies! What if he’s not even spiritual or doesn’t have a relationship with God? I then step it up a notch and start rationalizing with God on why I should not give it to him. What if he says no? I really like this ornament; what if I can’t get another one for myself? What if they’re sold out online? Despite this desperate attempt to sway God and after just seconds of resistance (which really seemed like minutes to me), I bring it out to him.
I ask Jerry if he’s religious because I want to give him this gift. I tell him that I would like him to have it because it says 2020 on the ornament and that’s the year he did my wall. It’s still in the box so I proceed to take it out to show him. While I’m doing that, he says, “No, I’m not actually. I don’t normally have a lot of faith in people. I’m a loner and like to work by myself; that’s why I do these projects alone.” However, he then continues, “But my wife is a believer; I’ll take it and bring it home to her.” I totally understood how he felt that year. In a time of fear and anxiety over Covid, losing so many people, you would have assumed that people would have unified against a common foe. Instead of binding together in a unified group, satan used our government, media, global entities, public service groups, and American corporations to divide us through mistrust and hate. I understand his view of how fallen we actually are.
What happens next, is something so astounding that I revel in awe, still after two years. The impromptu leading of God asking me to give this gift without a cause in the natural (at least from what I could see or knew), led to unexpected conversation…….
He begins to say that 2020 was especially hard for them but not for what I had assumed. He continues to say his seven-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia this year. At that very moment, it hit me quick and strong in my soul, that I immediately knew why I had the ornament in my hand.
He continued to say that he normally doesn’t expect a lot from people but what he has seen this year, is an outpouring of love, support and giving from so many during this difficult time for him and his family. That through this journey, he looks at things a little differently now. Perhaps he saw what God sees in us, that we do have some redeeming qualities.
At this point, I realize why it was so crucial to be obedient to God’s prompting. I was used as a seed, an inkling, a small gesture of action and words from my mouth, if not today, that would seep into his soul to confirm to him that God is good and trustworthy.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:38, NIV
I proceed to tell him I would like to pray for her and I asked her name. If everything that occurred so far was not extraordinary enough, the response he gave me next was like a strong wind that blew through my soul…..”Her name is Jasmine” (spelled Jazmyne). You see, my favorite flower is jasmine. Growing up, I always heard my dad say ‘’gelsomino’. I never knew why he always brought this word into our conversations. This is the Italian word for Jasmine which is a small white flower that has many varieties and comes from the olive family; it has an intoxicating beautiful smell. In Italy, it grew in bushes around my house and my aunt had it growing at her house in California. It doesn’t grow well in NY and is not native to this area because it thrives in tropical climates.
Below, is photo of Jazmyne, the beautiful little girl that God created; heaven was flooded with prayers of healing for her in 2020. Some of those prayers were mine.
What if I didn’t listen to what God told me to do? What would have happened if I didn’t recognize his voice? Below is a parable that Jesus shared regarding listening to His word and putting them into action.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Luke 6:46-49, NIV
What God desires more than anything, is that we take the time and learn to hear his voice. Giving God your time by listening, you then move forward with obedience. With obedience, whether or not you want to or whether or not you understand why He is asking you, you choose to trust God. You begin to realize from past events, He will always orchestrate the most beautiful and perfect outcome. Give God a chance to speak to you; start building a firm foundation by following His word and you will not crumble. Build your faith and your strong foundation in God; be obedient and follow through.
This is Jazmyne today. She took her last dose of chemo on February 22, 2023. She is doing well! Her grandmother told me that the ornament I gave Jerry is sitting on top of her cabinet in its forever home. Now I know why I could not find a place for it in my home; it didn’t belong to me.
We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 1:9-12, NIV
Through God’s Grace, Love, Blessings and Prayers,