Ephesians 1:13 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. (NIV)
While looking around at the friends and family whom my husband had chosen to invite to attend my birthday celebration, I was trying to find the words to thank him for arranging the gathering and to express the special way I felt about those in attendance.
It was then that I remembered what had happened on the following occasion when previously we had sat in that very place.
The staff came with cake in hand to sing "Happy Birthday" to a woman sitting all by herself. Of course, we all joined in, but at the time, I was haunted by why she sat alone on her special occasion. I paused, looking across our table at my husband, and I knew that he had picked up on my thinking. Slowly, he brought out a small New Testament from his pocket, and reaching out, passed it across to me.
Without hesitation, I took it, stood up, and went over to this woman, wished her a happy birthday, and at the same time, enquired about her celebrating all by herself. We talked for a few minutes, and she told me what had led her to be alone for this event in her life.
"Well, I have something for you to celebrate, not only today but perhaps for the rest of your life." These were my words as I passed to her God's Word. She seemed delighted about receiving the copy of the New Testament and about the time I had taken to show concern and compassion.
In returning to our table, I thought about how we all need to seize the moment when the Holy Spirit prompts us to make a difference, sometimes to a perfect stranger who crosses our path. After all, isn't that why God calls us to Himself — just to make a difference?
This story was what I passed on to my friends, family, and husband, in thanking them for being present for me on my special day.
Now, I have shared it with you.
Ephesians 4:30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (NIV)
Prayer: Most gracious heavenly Father, enable us through the Holy Spirit to act for You when You call upon us to make a difference in the lives of others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.