One evening John was sitting in his nice middle-income home reading a book on church history when he came across a passage describing famine and starvation which afflicted the early church. It stated,
“Many sold themselves into slavery, and with the price received fed others.”
John was stunned as well as shamed by this account and said to himself, “Boy do I not measure up.” As he searched his conscience and prayed to the Lord, he made a promise. “Lord, I can’t do anything tonight but before I go you bed tomorrow night I will have fed somebody.”
The next day at work he asked around if anyone knew someone in need of food. No one did. So John prayed for God to lead him as he was desperate to feed someone. In his mind, he saw the front of a modest brick home in great detail. Not recognizing it, he asked God to show him the house.
A few minutes later a coworker came and told of an elderly widow in his church in need. John said, “Let’s go shopping!” So the two of them piled into John’s pickup and headed to the grocery store. As John pushed the basket down the aisle, he asked the Lord to guide him in what you buy.
Neither knew exactly what she needed so they just began to put staples in the basket; varieties of food, cleaning supplies, and whatever caught John’s eye. The Bible teaches us,
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
He surely delighted in their enthusiasm because of what came next.
With the pickup filled with bags, they headed to the widow’s home. Now some might call what happened next a coincidence, but John knew for sure that it was a divine mission when they pulled up to the house and it was the exact house that he had seen in detail while in prayer! “Hallelujah! This is it,” John exclaimed, as his coworker went up to the porch and knocked on the door.
When the dear sister was told what was happening she put her hands over her gaped open mouth and stood to the side on the porch. The two young men began to carry bags into the house to the kitchen as she raised her hands, praised the Lord, and did a little dance. It turns out her daughter and kids had just come to stay with her out of their need, and there was no food in the house.
She stopped them at one point and said, “I was on my knees praying to God to meet our needs and I told him, “Lord, you ain’t never let me down in all these eighty years, and I know you ain’t gonna let me down now.” Then you young men knocked on my door.” They all praised God and continued carrying plastic grocery bags inside. Coming in with another load she asked, ”How did you know that this is my brand of flour? Look! That there is my favorite cereal!”
She could see through the bags as they had brought all her favorites. It was as if she had given them a list. They replied “We had no idea what to buy Sister. We let the Holy Spirit guide us. He knew what you needed and what you liked.” Praise God!
John had followed the leading of God and received the miracle of answered prayer.
From this humble beginning, fulfilling a promise to feed someone, John went on to found a food ministry which delivered more than a million pounds of food to the poor and needy in his community. Though this is a true story, few people know John’s real name, at his request.
Jesus taught this lifestyle to His disciples. “And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35 (NLT).