Sunday, November 1, 2015
Whenever I venture out to go on a trip to another state or as close as the store around the corner, I usually say a quick prayer not only for safety but that the Lord will make it known to me any person that I should especially reach out to. By reaching out, I mean by a smile, a conversation, a touch...basically whatever I feel lead by His Spirit to do. See I believe that while some folks are looking around for that BIG opportunity to be used of God, there are people walking right by them everyday that He wants us to be a beacon of light that points towards Him.
It was one such occasion the other day: I was on my way for a third time to a store to try to get the correct part for an appliance in my home. Feeling a little frustrated? Yes, but I still said in my mind, almost by habit ,"OK Lord if there is someone you need me to reach out to, make it clear." Yeah I wanted to "reach out" alright...reach right over that counter and grab the person by the collar and say "Do you realize this is my THIRD time here, think you can get it right THIS time?" But thank God for His mercy and sense of humor. LOL
By the time I get to the store I am in a different frame of mind and just want to get the part and leave for other errands. Sort of forgot about looking for anyone to reach out to for the Lord. I am at the counter and about to leave after unsuccessfully getting the correct part, when I turn to my right and there stands a young man I have not seen in years. He had overheard the conversation (He could not have missed my voice as I tend to raise it and overly pronounce my words when I. am. TRYING. to. explain. something. to. someone. for. the. THIRD. TIME! But I was nice (insert sweet smile).
This young man offered to come over and take a look at the appliance to see if he could help and to catch up with what's been going on in our lives. At first I was hesitant, then remembered my quick prayer and since I have known him and his whole family including his parents for decades, I said yes. We set a convenient time for both of us and he came
After a 2 hour visit on my back porch, I knew why I "ran" into him; This young man is desperately seeking The One and True God. He knows the Bible and He knows about going to Church, but He does not know God, he does not know God's character. As he went on and on expressing his doubts and questions, I knew that all I could really do was to give him the simple message of God's love through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. To share with him how that has worked and is still working for me. This young man has been hurt and deceived by those that he thought were his example, representatives of Christ on this earth. Even though we know that we should not look to men, because none of us are perfect, as humans we still uphold those that profess to be one thing when actually they are not. God help us to forgive them, for "they know not what they do." When any of us mis-represent Christ, we must realize the damage we may leave in our path. I pray that I am never guilty of this charge, but if I ever am, I pray that I am willing to allow the Holy Spirit to "lead and guide me into all Truth" about myself, so that I can get it right.
After this young man left, I began to have doubts if I had really done anything to help him. Did I say the right thing? Did I say too much? Who am I to help anyone? Many doubts about if God could really use me to reach and encourage someone that is broken just as I was. Then today I received a note in the mail from a friend, thanking me for having been an encouragement to them...such kind and encouraging words. Encouraging me that I CAN be all that God has called me to be and that they have been praying for me.
I find it so interesting that sometimes the very thing that you pour out of your life, you need the most. I LOVE to encourage people, to help them see all that they can be in God. I LOVE to encourage people to use their gifts and talents and am so excited for them when they do! I LOVE seeing them used by God! And yet I need to hear those very things the most. On a scale of one to ten, my self esteem sometimes is a minus zero. For real. Yet I LOVE helping people to see how truly great and gifted they are. Go figure THAT one!
Basically, we need each other. The scripture above talks about we who are believers in Christ are a body made up of many members, each of which are important. Just as the members/parts of our natural body need each other to function at its maximum capacity, so it is with the Body of Christ.
I was there for that young man to remind him of Christ's love, something that he has heard all his life but is now going through a rough time. Afterwards I doubted my effectiveness, but God used someone to encourage me, to remind me that God CAN use my gift. This is just one of the wonderful ways God works in our lives and I am so glad He does!
If only one good thing came out of my conversation with that young man, I hope that will be that I am praying for him...that God cares so much for Him that He stopped a frazzled, slightly frustrated woman (me) in her tracks to listen and encourage him that God sees, He knows and He cares. I am praying for him, just as someone is praying for me...