Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What God has been showing me lately

Everywhere I look lately I see an overabundance of "stuff." It seems like in everything that I do I observe excess which becomes waste, or God reveals to me how good we all really do have it. For instance, I wash dishes and see how much water is used and how just a portion of that water could supply sustenance for so many. For Easter dinner I see the many sets of china and "special" dishes, silverware, etc. and think of how many people don't have a plate to eat from or utensils to eat with. We spend so many resources on how our house looks, how we look, how our careers look, and most of the world would be happy with just a roof over their heads, some torn and tattered clothing, or the opportunity to work. Why is it that we have so much and offer so little? God has been dealing with me for the past few years about such things and the past few weeks has revealed to me many examples and illustrations of the comforts with which we are all blessed.

I listen to podcasts on the way to work, especially Cornerstone Church (Francis Chan). He has been so right on in his teachings lately about it being time to love like people are dying, because they are! Our time on this earth is so minuscule compared to eternity. We are ALL dying and need to live like there is no tomorrow. I listened to a student speak who was going to die any day from a disease. He said he feared not for himself, but for those who did not have relationship with Jesus. He added that it was easy for him to live like he was dying because he knew factually and literally that he was. Our problem is that we are too, we just don't grasp the fact because nothing is "wrong" with us. This is so much easier said than done. Believe me, I try and try but still don't. The point is that we try and that we live like we are the only Jesus some people may ever know. Every single person on this planet was created by and for God and though some are easier to love than others, we are shown clearly in the Bible that love is what we are to do (1 John 3:11-24, Matthew 22:34-40). I am honestly tired of having all that extra "stuff." If we spent our time molding our lives after Christ (something we are supposed to do as Christians) then what would the world look like? Our country? Our state? Our city? Our neighborhood?

DO NOT take this next paragraph wrong. I am not blowing my own horn (Matt 6:1-4), merely giving a personal example of how God can work if we allow Him. I have been collecting dry and canned goods and keep bags in my truck. I also have some extra Bibles. Today, on my way to work, I prayed for God to place someone in my life to witness and provide food to. On my way to the gym, I passed a homeless man sitting under a tree in the rain. I drove by and God loudly reminded me that He just answered my prayer. Not wanting to "chicken out" or disobey an obvious answer to prayer, I turned around and went back to the man. I got out of my truck, approached him, and asked if he was hungry. He said that he was so I went to the back of my truck and gave him a bag of food. He lit up like a child on Christmas and asked, "You're giving me all this?" He then stated that most people he came in contact with treated him badly and almost inhumane. I responded that that was the problem with the world today; people do not see everyone as people. I asked him his name and again he lit up. He was so proud to say, "K. W." I asked him his story and he said a string of bad luck but that he was not going to be like other people and beg. He said he found a person who was paying him to do odd jobs and that he would not resort to other things as he once had. He then explained that he thought he rode his bicycle too far and was lost. I opened my map book and showed him how to get where he was headed. I then handed him a new Bible. He opened his wallet and said he only had a few dollars. I was shocked. Here was a homeless person with NOTHING offering to pay for a Bible. I told K.W. that I was not with him for money or any reason other than the Bible taught me to love and take care of those in need. I explained that Jesus loved him and that if he wanted to "pay me" it would be awesome if he read the Bible I provided him. K.W. mentioned that he only drank a few beers once in a while and I said that was ok, but that if he wanted to get back on his feet, to spend the beer money on something productive. Before I left, I asked K.W. for his name. He said, "Kenneth Welk, like Lawrence." Kenneth thanked me for making the effort to get to know who he was and I thanked him for talking to me. I then told Kenneth I would be praying for him and we exchanged a firm handshake, a smile, and parted ways. GOD IS SOOOOOO AMAZING IF WE LET HIM.

I don't want to be one of those people who receive my rewards here on earth (Matt 6:1-4). I don't want to be a person more concerned with stuff than lives. I don't want to be a person who wastes time and money on things that won't last instead of talking to others about eternity, which won't cease.

If you have taken the time to read this, please keep K.W. in your prayers and also pray that God will place you in situations to strengthen your faith and provide opportunity for obedience. Remember that you are only on this earth briefly and never complain about what you have because there are millions who don