Encountering Heaven at the Grocery Store

23 Sep

devotional_grocery_store_encounter.jpg 

JOHN 4:4-10 (NLT) | “...[Jesus] came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

MEDITATION

Recently, while grocery shopping I encountered a man who was blocking the sidewalk with his bicycle. As I tried to navigate around the obstruction, the embarrassed man moved his bike and began to apologize. I smiled and assured him it was fine. I passed the man again while returning my cart, and he thanked me for being polite. I felt a familiar tug on my heart—I had to speak with this man. I introduced myself, sat down, and we talked for 30 minutes.

As I learned about his faith journey and current relationship with God, the Lord helped me to uncover nuggets of truth about this man. I was able to speak simple, direct truths to him about God. As I drove home, I felt God smiling on me and thanking me for being available. I felt the power of Christ in me and I thanked God for allowing me to participate with his work, on earth as it is in heaven.

When I think of the power of heaven, I often find myself imagining bolts of lightning, thundering sounds of worship, and a sea of countless saints casting down their crowns to worship the almighty and powerful God—the God who sits on his throne surrounded by blinding glory and rainbows of color. This is an accurate vision of Heaven as we see it painted throughout scripture.

It’s rare that I consider the other aspects of heaven, the simple characteristics that embody God’s dwelling place: God’s will being accomplished, the existence of truth and the power of God’s word made manifest, the present harvest ready to be tilled and worked, perfect communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These too are an accurate picture of heaven.

In his encounter with the woman at the well, Christ brings down the power of heaven in a way that’s actually quite plain. We find him, much like us, weary from travel and ministry, resting and taking a break, waiting for food. Simple. Authentic. Human.

The woman is going about her business, drawing water. In that everyday place, Christ meets her with the power of heaven, seeing past her physical make-up and into her heart. He sees her deeds, her sins, her needs. Christ speaks to her simply and plainly, revealing himself to her as the Messiah. Then he offers her what she truly needs—eternal life—and the woman, along with others in the town, is saved.

In my grocery store encounter, there were no lightning bolts of power, no grown limbs or healed body parts, no sparkling displays of glory or manifested angels (that I could see). Instead, through simple obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit, a man was encouraged to reignite his relationship with God and to pursue God again for the first time in years. This encounter was simple, powerful, and real.

We serve the God who sits on the throne surrounded by blinding displays of power, the same God who sat at the well, waiting for food, and spoke directly to the heart of the Samaritan woman. He has made the resources of heaven available to us, and often they become visible in simple ways—so simple that we might just overlook them. The more we call on him in our daily lives, the more he reveals heaven’s power in real ways on earth—through surprise encounters at the grocery store, and in a million other little ways


QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION

  1. Where might God be inviting you to ask for his presence and power in your daily life?
  2. Is there a specific relationship or situation where you need to call on the resources of heaven? How can you apply the power of Christ to your day?
  3. As you think about heaven, what aspects do you think of? How might you add to and expand your view of heaven?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Johanna Lohrmann and her husband, Simeon, live in Phoenix, AZ with their two young children. The Lohrmanns joined ChurchNEXT in 2014, with a vision to see a sweeping movement of the gospel through the music community with the help of their ministry RYFO. For more information, please check out RYFO.org.


Related Posts

Naturally Supernatural: Creating Space for God's Reality in Our Lives

Word on the Street: The Unlikeliest of Places

Unexpected Opportunities: A Plan for Everyday Disciple Making