Elias Special Story of How God Shows His Love Personally
I wanted to share a story that happened at the end of the day on Sunday after the clothing room ended at about 2 p.m. There were a couple of bible studies going on at a few different tables in the Douglas Room (our luncheon room), and I noticed a man in the back of the room who was sitting by himself.. This man's name is Keith, and he was sitting about 10 feet away from a table where a bible study was going on, and I asked him if he wanted to join in and he shook his head 'no', and said he was "just way too depressed". I sat next to him and asked him what was going on; and tears came into his eyes as he said, "I'm homeless, Marian, and that means I am living in the streets." He went onto say, "The most depressing part of this is that I know it is because of my own choices that I am homeless."
I tried to encourage him that God doesn't blame us for what we do, but instead He wants us to come to Him with our cares and our pain because He loves us. I told him the story of my own personal tragedy and also coming to a real faith in Jesus just days before my son Tim passed away (which he didn't know because it was his first time joining us.). Then he said, "That takes a lot of faith. How does a person get faith in God?"
Keith said that he wished he could know God but that he had made bad choices in his life and felt there was no hope for him.. Of course, there is no one who doesn't make some bad choices in life, and we talked about how God just wants us to come to Him. About 15 minuets or so of talking with Keith, I invited him one more time to join me at the bible study table near where we were sitting, and he said "no" again, and looked so down. I told him I would be back in a few minutes, and I moved my chair over to the table with the group of 5 or 6 people because there was someone else at the table I was concerned about.
While I was at the table of 5 or 6 people, I couldn't help but ask a man named Elias (who seemed very distressed), if he had anything he wanted to share. Elias began to cry with tears running down his cheeks as he said pointing to himself (he is missing one leg and has a prosthesis and has other health problems) and said crying, "Look at me...everything that is wrong with me is because I caused it to happen with my own bad decisions!" He said, Huge tears were running down his face and people at the table encouraged him and told him that 'God doesn't blame us for anything and loves him and wants each of us to just come to him with our pain. After lots of sincere and loving conversation at that table, Elias said with tears in his eyes, "I would like to pray, but I don't know how." So, our group asked him if he would like us to pray with him and he nodded his head crying and our entire group (4 people who are homeless and another volunteer began to pray with him and for him. Elias began to pray out loud and told God how sorry he was and that he wanted to follow God and wanted him to live inside of him. He also asked God to please let him have peace!
It was so beautiful, and after he finished praying, someone prayed out loud that God would show Himself to Elias and allow him to see God today! We all hugged and Elias was smiling, and within seconds of ending this prayer, my husband Mark walked into the room holding a brand new pair of crutches and walked up to our group and said, "Who is Elias? Someone just bought these crutches and asked me to give them to Elias!." It turned out that a lady, Sue, who volunteers in the clothing room, noticed that Elias was barely getting around using an old cane (and he only has one leg). Elias never asked for crutches, and without him knowing it, she ran out to the store and bought him a new pair of crutches! Elias was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and kept crying and smiling all at the same time! He was saying, "I can't believe this!" and a few of the other guys (who are homeless) were almost in tears saying, OH..this is God! I am so glad that I am here to see this..Wow!" One of the guys had both hands on his head and just kept saying, "God is so amazing!"
The timing was unmistakably God that the crutches were delivered to Elias just seconds after he prayed! Our entire group including our homeless friends in the group were ecstatic with joy over seeing this and Elias kept crying but smiling and saying "I can't believe this!" I feel so good! It was wonderful to see the joy on Elias' face when just minutes earlier he was in such distress. The amazing thing is that Elias' was still homeless and was still faced with huge physical problems...but he was so filled with joy! But, there's more! Keith, who was 10 feet away (the man I talked with who was so depressed), was looking over and watching the entire thing without us realizing. I called over to Keith and asked, "Is there anything we can pray for you about Keith before we close in prayer?" He looked at our group and said, "Do you think it would be okay if you prayed with me the way you prayed with 'him'...because I want to have faith in God like that!" I couldn't believe it that this same man was asking us to pray for him!
Our little group moved over to Keith and we all prayed with him (including Elias) and Keith then prayed out loud as well! Keith was smiling after his prayer and hugging all of us and said "I feel so much better", and it was just amazing to see how God absolutely reached into the hearts of these two people and orchestrated even Keith to come to Him and gave them His peace.