"You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.....You will be blessed coming in and blessed going out." - Deuteronomy 28:3,5
I'm nearly certain most of you have read or heard these verses from the Bible a time or two. I know I have. And I have gratefully witnessed the blessings of God poured into my life in various ways, big and small, since I first accepted Jesus into my life as my Savior and my Lord. But today I just have to share a little incident that reminded me in a bigger way than usual how much my God loves me and chooses to bless me in the city and in the country, coming in and going out! I am so thankful!
Today has been a rather ordinary day, the usual Monday, nothing too exciting. I had to run to the store to drop of a prescription at the pharmacy and pick up a few items while there. I ended up in line behind an elderly woman who seemed to be taking much longer than usual for dropping off a prescription. I was tired and wanted to be home more than anything, but I didn't feel impatient with her so much as I did with the pharmacy crew (there were several of them who seemed like they didn't have much to do and could have taken my prescription in a moment). So honestly, I felt a little impatient but I realized that's just the way it is sometimes, and waited for my turn.
The elderly lady turned to me after she was done and apologized, to which I of course smiled and honestly responded, "Oh, it's okay!" because I know in my heart that it's good for me to have to wait sometimes......it does build patience. And it was okay.
Fast forward about 25 or 30 minutes and I've found my small list of items, much smaller than my typical grocery run, a list including a book on sale that I'd been wanting to buy and was excited to find at a decent price at long last. I could have checked out on one side of the store, but decided that I wanted to try the one checkout that was open on the side I had entered originally. And there she was, the elderly lady who had been before me in line at the pharmacy! I smiled at her, feeling a little sheepish as I hoped she wouldn't think I had followed her, as of course I had not even expected to see her again.
Then the unexpected happened. I had barely begun to load my few items onto the express checkout belt when she looked at the cashier and said, "I would like to pay for her items, too!" I was stunned. I do mean stunned. I looked at her and quickly responded, "Oh no, you don't have to do that!" She smiled and laughingly said, "I know I don't have to but I'm going to!" So I thanked her profusely and said I'd never had anyone offer to pay for my groceries like that before, what a pleasant surprise. The cashier was as pleasantly surprised as I was, and both of us were beyond impressed. The cashier said, "Now that's pay it forward!" I smiled and said, "Yes, I will have to pay it forward!"
I told the elderly lady I would pray that God blessed her for her generosity and kindness. She was excited to get to treat me. And I was thrilled that someone would want to. And humbled by the fact that I had chosen to be sweet and smile at her both times I encountered her, because it really makes it easier all around if people would just be kind and respectful to each other.
So, how do I feel this morning? Blessed. It was not a massive grocery bill, and perhaps to some it would not seem so significant. But to me, it was a big deal. How often does the person in front of you choose to bless you, a random grocery shopper they don't know and probably never will? For me, it was the first time. I feel like God just wanted to brighten my day and remind me how much He loves me and looks after my most basic and yet critical needs......and He chose to show me through a willing, ordinary elderly lady who happened to be at the grocery and the pharmacy the exact same times as I. And I am so thankful . . . . . and excited to pay it forward.