Often, we do not know how God uses the little things that we do to impact someone else’s faith. I received a Facebook message from someone last month regarding an event that happened 25 years ago but was still remembered. The event had inspired her to keep doing good. God uses those little things we do – a kind word or an act of generosity, etc. – and we usually don’t ever realize the impact they make. So, I thought I would share this story to help you realize that God is working in those details in your life, too, and the things you are doing today may have an impact well into the future.
To tell this story, I need to back up 25 years. I was working with buyers/friends who needed to be out of their apartment immediately because they exceeded the legal occupancy rules. They had more children than income and desired to remain close to a local church we both attended. The housing inventory that fit their budget and space needs was very limited, so we looked at many places. One home was a “for-sale-by-owner” in Bloomington. When we viewed the home, the sellers were present doing some last-minute painting. We started up a conversation with them and the sellers asked where we went to church. After telling them, they excitedly said they were familiar with it. The sellers went on to explain that they saw in us the same love for God and joy in our lives that they had seen in a small group from that church that volunteered to rake the seller’s mother’s home during Mission to the City just 3 days prior. The hard work and seeds planted by that small group paved the way for all that was to be.
The following day after visiting the house and praying on it overnight, we got together, prayed again, and wrote an offer. We all were convinced that this was the property God had in mind for their family. I was so sure that God had told me that this was their home, that when I called the seller and he informed that they had sold the home an hour earlier, I responded with a boldness and certainty that is totally out of character for me. I told the seller that I was certain that he had entered a contract with the wrong buyers and that I was praying against a successful closing. As I type this, I can’t even believe how confident I was. I was sure God would come through and this home would be my buyers’ home. I forewarned the seller that I would be calling every three days to see if the sale had fallen through yet. Three days later I called the seller, and he said that he and his mother had talked about it and while they would not do anything to sabotage the sale, they would join us in praying that God would make a way for my buyers’ family to be the next owners. The seller said that if we were that certain God wanted them to be the next owners, they also wanted what God wanted.
After another three days, I called again and this time the seller told me that it was a cash sale and that he didn’t know how the sale would fall apart. I asked him if he had received a confirmation of funds. He shared that the cash was coming from a lawsuit settlement. I encouraged him to ask for a letter from the attorney confirming the settlement and date the funds would be released.
The seller requested this, and the buyer complied with a letter written on the attorney‘s letterhead confirming the settlement, and cash release date. I stopped calling thinking I must not have heard from God. But Mrs. Buyer kept saying “Grandma’s praying and when Grandma prays, God answers.” So, we all kept praying against all reason for the sale to fall apart.
A week later, the seller called me and told me to sit down. He had just received a tearful call from the original buyer’s boyfriend. Apparently, the original buyers had gone to the law office to pick up the funds. The girlfriend dropped the boyfriend off at the door, was going to park the car and join him in the lawyer’s office. She never came into the office, drove off with his car and, to top it off, the boyfriend was told there was no lawsuit or settlement.
We immediately wrote up a new purchase agreement, closed the purchase quickly and my buyers’ family moved into their new home confident that God had made this possible and had confirmed that this is where he wanted their family!
I wrote a “thank you” note to the small group leader, thanking her and the small group members for the volunteer work they had done for the seller’s mother and letting them know how God had used their small group in bringing about this miracle. I have never met small group leader but last month she contacted me via Facebook Messenger and let me know that she has hung onto that “thank you” note all these years. That note has been a source of encouragement for her to keep doing good and helped her remember that God is working behind the scenes using her in ways she doesn’t know. Again, we may not see how God is using our simple actions, but He is weaving those simple actions into other lives to carry out His plan. So, keep doing good, He is using you!