Lessons come from all different sources

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oh, the lessons I learn from the people I meet. Although many

years have passed since my formal education, I’ve chosen to remain a student of life, observing, listening and learning from the constant parade of instructors God assigns to me.

Last week’s teacher? Shannon. I’m not going to reveal her full name for two reasons. First, it really doesn’t matter; second, I don’t know it. Although I met her in LaPlace, she’s not from the River Parishes, but none of that is really important to her story. God loves me enough to have scheduled our lives to intersect briefly, and it was during this little encounter that I was again reminded how big my God really is.

Shannon was in a group of ladies I met at a correctional facility. While sharing my own Bible study method, I mentioned, “Don’t just randomly open the Bible and read the first verse you see.”

“Why not?” came the question from Shannon. “It worked for me.”

She now had my full attention. “Tell me about it.”

“I was in jail, saw a Bible, and even though I really didn’t believe in God, I said, ‘God, if You’re real, prove it to me.’ I opened the Bible to a story about two prostitutes and read about how God was angry at their sin. I made a promise to God that day and kept it even though I was tempted.”

What exactly was the promise she made to God? Shannon gave me a general idea, and I believe she would have answered any specific questions I had, but it really is none of my business. God knows, and Shannon knows, and I believe when God deals with people, it is Holy Ground upon which I tread very carefully. Besides, I was too busy mentally racing through the Bible stories I am familiar with, trying to figure out which one she had read. Nothing came to mind.

I found it the next morning. There, in Ezekiel 23, is the comparison of two nations to prostitutes, and God’s anger towards their sin. I again thanked God for His Divine intervention in Shannon’s life, and for allowing me to learn her story. It always amazes me that the God of the universe continues to deal with people individually and hears the humble cries from our hearts.

This past week, I handed a Bible to another lady in our study group and said, “Now, don’t start in Genesis. I think you should start reading the book of John…” I didn’t finish my sentence, for out of the corner of my eye I saw Shannon, smiled as I remembered her story and finished, “Start wherever you want. Just start. And ask God to open your heart to what He has to say to you.”

Hey, I may not be the brightest student in life’s classroom, but I’m learning.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.