A few days ago, I received a text from a friend asking me if I wanted to meet her for coffee at a local restaurant. I thought that was great and we set up a time for the next day. After setting it up I suddenly became consumed with thoughts about running into a woman, I will call her Jane, while there. The thoughts came out of nowhere. I haven’t seen Jane in almost two years and what makes matters worse my last encounter with her was not pleasant. In terms of our personalities, Jane and I are opposites. She is very aggressive, and I am not. So, my thoughts of running into her in the restaurant were focused on seeing her and finding myself in a difficult, challenging, aggressive conversation; something I most definitely didn’t want to do! But at the same time, I had no reason to even think that she would be there. Yet, for some reason, I was consumed with these thoughts. It seemed like every thirty minutes I was thinking about her and praying over both of us.
As I tried to figure out why I kept having these thoughts, I tried to come up with some sort of a logical reason or connection for the thoughts. I had never seen her at this restaurant before, I didn’t know whether she even went to this restaurant. I did know that she worked about two miles from the restaurant. So, I attributed my thoughts to a figment of my imagination triggered by the location of the restaurant.
The next day when I went to meet my friend, I arrived at the restaurant about 20 minutes early. I sat in a chair near the door so I would be able to see my friend when she arrived. But as I sat I became consumed with thoughts about running into Jane. I began to wonder if I should move away from the door, out of sight. After giving it some thought I decided that I had an overactive imagination and I would stay put. My friend arrived and we found a table near some windows facing one of the several walkways to the front door. After chatting with my friend for about a half-hour I looked up and saw Jane walking up the sidewalk to the front door. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. I did a double-take just to make sure, and it was her. I turned my attention back to my friend, but from the corner of my eye, I saw her glance over at me. I did not see her once she arrived in the restaurant. The restaurant has various walls and corners, so I didn’t know where she sat.
While talking to my friend I was only half engaged in our conversation. I kept thinking about what happened the day before and being consumed with thoughts of Jane. As I talked with my friend, I realized that God knew she was going to be there. Then it hit me! He was warning me. He was preparing me for the encounter. When I saw her, I did not have any negative feelings towards her, and I did not feel any anxiety. Knowing that He warned be about having a negative, or challenging conversation with Jane, I made it a point to focus my attention on my friend. I did not want to open the door to a potential negative encounter with Jane so I decided it would be to my benefit to avoid her.
Praise God for the warning! I pray if the Lord warns you that you do not ignore Him as well.
12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. Matthew 2:12