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A Jimmy John’s Devotional

A Jimmy John’s Devotional

Johnny Teague
Homeless Woman

A young man wanted to visit with me after Church this past Sunday. He is young, outgoing, and gifted, but greatly depressed. It seems every time he is about to get ahead, something cuts him off, some door is slammed, some opportunity is lost. It is more than he can bear. To be honest with you, I am not really fond of closed doors either. My theme for this year in my life and the Church’s life is “Pray for answers to pour in 2024”. I have refined that to a degree to “Lord please open every door in 2024”. I had a football coach who told our team after a long string of losses,

“Losing builds character, and fellas, we’ve got enough character”.

This young man, we’ll call him Jamar, sat in my office. His identity has been stolen as was his online business. He wound up having to take a job at Jimmy John’s which he likes very much. He is great with people and amazing at customer service. He said he was doing his job, feeling very down when a homeless lady entered the restaurant. She wore tattered clothes, old shoes, no socks. He could see her legs above the shoes were very weathered, sores, scrapes, blood stains. Her arms and face were not much different. She moved forward in the line, while people separated from her about six feet in front and in back, as we were once told to do during the COVID scare.

When her turn came to the counter to order, she looked up a Jamar and said, “Trust God”. He looked at her. She never lost eye contact. She repeated,

“I said to you, young man, Trust God! Trust God! Trust God!”.

With that, she walked out of the restaurant. Jamar was baffled as were his coworkers. He continued working, while everyone was joking, “Jamar, I think she was talking to you!”. Jamar joked back, “Oh no, I think she was talking to you”.

The next day, near lunchtime at Freaky Fast Jimmy John’s, the line was long. The bell rang on the entrance door. In walked the same homeless lady. Jamar saw her right off the bat, as did his friends behind the counter. They wondered if she’d be ordering or giving another two-word lecture. She waited in line. People gave her distance. She reached the counter, Jamar asked if he could take her order. She looked him dead in the eye, “Young man, Trust God!” With that, she left. His eyes were fixed on her as she walked out. Other customers looked at Jamar. His friends ribbed him, but he could not look away for a matter of seconds, seeming like hours. Jamar wondered if this was God’s way of telling him something. He had a lot of worries. He had many concerns. He was behind on his rent. He had been ripped off, abandoned, and alone. Was God saying something?

Philippians 4:11-13 – “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives me strength.”

The next morning Jamar was to open the store. He walks a mile to get to the bus stop. He then rides the bus to the nearest drop-off from his store. He then walks another mile. It takes him two hours to get to his job. When he got there, who was sitting, leaning against the entrance door but this old, homeless lady. She looked up as he approached. She said to Jamar, “Trust God young man”. Jamar sat beside her. He asked her why she was there, why was she saying this to him. The worn lady said,

“God has told me that you need to trust Him. Let me tell you, I know how important that is. Before the cold spell hit, I was worried how I would make it out on the street. I prayed. God sent a man who paid for two nights in a hotel for me. Another lady gave me gift cards for pizza. I have learned to trust God. I want us to pray together”.

Jamar closed his eyes. Tears welled as he felt himself at the end of his rope. The woman began to pray, “Father, I thank You for everything. You have been so good to me. Everywhere I look, You bless me. I pray You will do the same for this young man. Again, Father, I have so much to thank You for. I cannot name them all, but I want to thank You for everything, in Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen”. With that, she got up, patted Jamar on the shoulder, gave him a wink, and she wobbled her way down the street to her corner where she would stand, soliciting help. After lunch she was gone. Jamar has never seen her since.

Jamar met with me in my office. He said,

“I have seen a miracle. God sent that old woman. What I can’t get over is, she was thanking the Lord for everything. She was homeless, yet she was content. Even destitute, she gave God thanks. I could not help but realize I have so much. How can I be sad? He has saved me. He has helped me. I just need to trust Him. That woman changed my perspective”.

As I write this, that homeless lady changed mine too.

Matthew 6:25-34 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”

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More from Johnny Teague

Preaching Your Way Out of a Mess  Small Town Big Lessons  The Lost Diary of Anne Frank*

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