The Man in the Puffy Coat

My feet shuffle on the smooth, hardwood floor under me as I prepare to get ready for my day. Halfway between a dream and reality, my mind finds a place where it can rest.

As the sun rises over the brick-layered street in front of my home, silence invades my heart. I roll over. “Lord, I can do this with you. Only with you.”

In my head I think to myself; I know God to be faithful, but what about when I feel his silence?

“Just say something,” I think.

My heart sometimes can’t fully grasp the truth that God’s promises are always true; they are never wrong.  They never waiver from what He says in his word.

“I have no idea which direction to go next.”

I know God hears the depths of my heart. I know he hears my faintest whisper as it flows through the wind and he also hears my deepest cry.  But what about when he is silent?

In the quiet, He speaks.

I stop. I am still before the Lord. And in the stillness of the moment, I listen. I imagine the Lord standing beside me.  With his gentle hands and his comforting voice, I am reminded of his words:  “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” –Jeremiah 31:3

He says to me daughter, just keep walking in my ways.

So I do.

I repeat those words over and over in my head until they speak to my heart.

I didn’t get some tangible message through a burning bush like Moses (as nice as that would have been). But nonetheless, he quenched my yearning for His words as I sat face to face with a homeless man.

On the cold concrete, as the breeze drifts across my already red cheeks, I listen. I hear but I don’t understand. I learn about Bobby* and his life.  I learn that this past year has been a series of unfortunate events that have led him to this very place. He tells me about his life; how it took a 180 degree the wrong direction. Having a warm place to stay to living in the cold, crisp outdoors, a car to no car, work to no work, alive on the inside to empty.  Empty as the bottom of a drinking glass.

I ponder how all of these can happen to this one man; I sat speechless.

I didn’t know what I could say to make him better. I thought about how just that morning I couldn’t even answer my own questions, let alone help someone else.

As the pride was stripped away out of my own heart, God humbled me. “It’s my faithfulness that will give you the words, not yours beloved.”

The strong urging in my heart could not be held in.

He spoke words through me, to him, that I can’t even remember.  “You are loved with an everlasting love. God’s faithfulness to you will continue.”

In the midst of doubting the Lord, he came through like I always knew of him to do.

As tears streamed down, I remembered what joy felt like. I experienced God’s faithfulness through something I didn’t even ask for in the face of a man in a puffy black coat and a backpack containing his life belongings.

In his mumbled voice, he lifted his head up- “God does answer prayers.”

HE is faithful, Hannah!  He is faithful to his promises.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. 
And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55: 8

Over and over again, I pray and ask the Lord to reveal his plans for my life. I get frustrated.  I get impatient.

Then in that moment, with my begrudged heart and impatient spirit, he humbles me again and again, all the while still allowing me to be a part of his kingdom and HIS plan.

My heart beats for those moments. When God bring me to my knees and reminds me of His good and prefect plan for our life as believers.

My mind cannot fathom the infiniteness of his grace or the beauty of his love.  I am captivated by how much he loves, beyond all human understanding.

Life is never easy; I think we all know that. But I can’t help but to believe that it has to be worth it.  That I get to be a daughter of my Father in heaven who doesn’t love me because of what I do but faithfully continues to be my sustainer, to be my comforter, to protect and to love me beyond what my tiny mind can comprehend. And most of all to extend so much grace that it is almost hard to receive.

We continue to ride this roller coaster of life; ‘sometimes swan-dives and the other times-belly flops at best’. We anticipate things to come and we wait, like a little kid in a candy store, for our hopes and dreams to come true.

An ever-moving cycle of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, times of celebrating the many blessings we have, reminiscing about the way things used to be excites us as we look ahead for what is to come.

It is sometimes scary.  Other times frustrating not knowing your next step. But always incredible to see the mighty hand of God reach down to tiny little me and say, dear I have not forgotten you.

My prayer is to be still, to reflect on the magnitude and sovereignty of Jesus. To realize that those footprints in the sand behind me are the footprints of the man, who knows every hair on my head, every word I will speak before I speak them, and that will continue to carry me and be faithful to his promises, always.

Hannah Adkins

By God’s grace and providence, Hannah is a student at SEBTS, pursuing an MA in Biblical Counseling. She wishes to live in an inner city neighborhood. Telling peoples’ stories and relationship-building are her passions…well a few of them at least. Her desire to love her neighbor, by providing in home-based counseling as well as using her skills she learned as a nurse and caregiver, continue to be a motivating factor to obtaining that ‘piece of paper’ here at SEBTS. And in her spare time, she enjoys writing, seeing how much she can laugh at her own jokes, and being challenged to see just how much guacamole she can eat in one sitting (:
You can follow Hannah here:
Instagram: hannahjayne_2

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