Written by Mike Verkaik, Oceans US Ambassador and Outreach Coordinator
Do you know this song by Matt Redman?
From the creation to the cross
There from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me, yes Your grace finds me
Sitting at the kitchen table, reflecting on the people I had met and the conversations I recently had at the Wooden Shoe, the song Your Grace Finds Me began to play on the radio. While listening to the repetition of the lines above, I reflected on the lesson Abba Father had taught me through a current resident, *Brenda.
As I reflected I realized that God had initiated this divine appointment that was about to unfold with Brenda a week earlier via a phone call from a volunteer. This volunteer alerted me to how the Holy Spirit led two couples to donate money towards the rent of someone who might have lost their job due to the coronavirus.
As our team prepared to leave for the motel that Tuesday night, I was praying for a divine appointment with the motel owner and yes God provided this encounter. As we were getting ready to hand out the food prepared for the individuals and families living in the Wooden Shoe, I broke away from the group to ask the owner if any residents were falling behind in their rent. With a disgusted look he said, “Yes, I am kicking *Brenda out tonight. She is two weeks behind in her rent. She has lied to me, forged several notes from her employer, and I have had enough. If you would be willing to give her some assistance, it would help a lot?” I told him we would like to help.
After walking through the vending room to the back of the motel, I met Brenda for the first time. She was standing in the parking lot crying. Through the sniffles and tears she shared her story. The pandemic had closed the restaurant she worked at for the past 6 years; she had no money and nowhere to go. She went on to say, “I prayed to God, but I don’t think He hears me.”
As I listened to her last words the Holy Spirit gave me this response, “Brenda, not only did your Father hear you, He put you on someone’s heart before you even prayed your prayer. Last week, your Father prompted a person to call me, someone that does not even know you. That is how much your Father loves you.”
Upon leaving the motel, I settled with the owner and went back to *Brenda’s room with a receipt. As I explained how her back rent and the upcoming weeks rent were paid for, she burst out in tears again and responded, “Oh grace, grace, so much grace. Thank you, so much grace!”
In Galatians, Paul felt that same kind of grace when he wrote: “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.,”(Galatians 2:4, 5 –NIV).
*Brenda has since moved out of the motel after receiving her stimulus check. She is living in a better place, and I am happy for her. Last week she texted saying, “ Thank you again for your help. God is good and He was there. I am hoping to pay it forward in the very near future”
Grace found *Brenda that night and she was overwhelmed by His love and mercy for her in that moment. Made me think about my response to Easter? Am I still living in the memory of the grace of resurrection day which has made me alive with Christ? How about you?