February 21, 2013

Share and Share Alike

God has been teaching me so many things now during my single years.  But the one thing I feel He has been teaching me the most is how faithful He is to show His love.  I keep a list of names, people I know in all the social spheres my life revolves in at this time.  This list is a prayer list.  And sometimes God impresses on me a particular person.  When that happens I have learned to pay extra attention to that and pray more often for that person.  I ask God to give me direction in how, if anything beyond prayer, I could help encourage the person.

Now, my profession doesn't give me a lot, financially speaking.  It is very gratifying and I do believe I am doing what God has directed my natural talents and inclinations towards.  But sometimes I worry that I can't help enough when finances are tight.  This has been a battle for me off and on.  And God has been steadily and repeatedly showing me that He doesn't need His children to own a lot of stuff or make a lot of money to successfully help and encourage others.

Which brings me to this post.  God has given me several ministry opportunities with single ladies, similar to myself, who are struggling to make ends meet.  Some of them are in far worse condition in that their relationships with their parents are not ideal.  They receive very little, if any spiritual or emotional support.  But God has found me suitable to help fill this void in their lives at this time.

I share this not to "toot my own horn" but to hopefully encourage someone else reading this post who may be wondering if God might be asking them to do the same.

Out of our own personal struggles and pain God often calls us to minister to others.  I think of it kind of like a forest fire.  There is much devastation and desolation once the flames are extinguished.  Sometimes life feels this way to us, doesn't it?  We go through a trail that leaves us feeling weak and tired.  

But then, somewhere on the forest floor a small green sapling  pushes up from the ground and starts to rise towards the sky.  That little sapling is physical and symbolic proof that hope still lives.  So it is with us who believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  He takes our struggles and our pain and uses them to fertilize the ground we're in.  And suddenly He calls us and we start to hope again and spread that hope to others.

Not long ago God brought a specific friend to my mind.  I have been praying for her but felt very strongly that I could do more.  So one day I texted her and said I was coming over and that I was bringing lunch.  She has been looking for work for several months.  Grocery prices, gas prices, utilities, etc. it was all starting to pile up on her.  I thought a ready meal and good friend would help ease her worry a little-bit.

So I looked at my finances and realized I couldn't afford to bring over anything fancy.  And so I thought over what to do and decided that whatever I could afford was what we would both eat.  I jumped in my car and headed to her place.  When I arrived her smile was huge.  That alone made happy I went ahead and followed God's prompting.

We talked for several hours over chili, sour-cream and chive baked potatoes, and chocolate frosties.  I learned later that she had been craving chocolate frosties for some time. :)

A few weeks later I received an invitation from this same friend.  She wanted to make a lunch for me.  Again I wrestled with whether-or-not I should go.  I knew she was struggling to make ends meet and yet she wanted to provide a meal for me.

At the end I decided to go.  And then I was reminded that many times in life it is when we allow others to bless us that we become the greatest blessing to them.  It was still difficult for me.  I prayed the entire drive over.

My friend had been blessed with a surplus of food and had made a lovely and delicious home-made meal.  Chicken, rice, and roasted brussel sprouts with almonds.  It was so good!  And I was overwhelmed by how gracious and loving God is to His children.  It was a privilege to be used by Him and it was awesome to see how He cares for His own.  My friend is still without work and she still needs encouragement.  But God is showing her and myself that He is sufficient for all our needs and that He never overlooks any kindness we give to others.

God looks at our hearts.  He sees our hidden motivations.  I pray that God continues to mold me into a woman that brings Him honor just as I pray He does the same for each of you.


" Dear children, let us not merely say that we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions."
~ I John 3:18


Denise said...

Amen, amen. Very well said, bless you.

T-Childs said...

This is another winning post. Yes, it's true, we don't necessarily need lots of money to be blessed or to bless others either. My case in point is that as I had lots of at times severe depression in my life, it followed that I also had lots of unemployment and I am still unemployed. Yet God has blessed me and He meets ALL my needs. I still give to charity and I work hard towards kick-starting a writing career, so I can earn some dough and pay back all I've received in welfare.

What you did for your friend is a small thing, but the world is made up of genuine kindness like this and the good will and happiness moments like these produce could not be bought with all the gold in the world nor all the tea in China! Small mercies make this often unfair world keep spinning.

One other thing; you've got a beautiful face and you smiled in your photo, instead of trying to be cool or moody! Women should smile more instead of frowning; maybe they'd meet the man of their dreams then?! ;~)

TabjesJoy said...

How wonderful God leads us! Sometimes it really feels like I am part of a wonder God is perfoming. In saying the right word at the right time, in experiencing I can help someone because I have been through the same thing, in doing something for somebody just at the right moment for that person. I can't do that really, it is all God!! And it makes me small just to look at how He arranges things, because He is so great! We have an amazing God!


Denise: Thank you. God bless you too.

T-Childs: What you say is true. Kindness makes a big difference no matter how small. And Jesus says in Matthew 25:40 and in Hebrews 6:11 that any kindness we give to others we are giving to Him.

God takes how we treat others personally. Its an amazing truth and backs up the reality of a relational God. He isn't distant.

Thank you for your kind words. Blessings to you.


Tabjes Joy: God is amazing! To know the heart of God is the reason why we read His word and nurture a relationship with Him.

God's heart feels so deeply! Imagine how simple kindnesses move us who are selfish and imperfect. And to think that we can moved so deeply and how God feels even more deeply all our sorrows and joys!

What an astounding, amazing, awesome God we serve!

Brenda said...

Hi Sincerity,
what a beautiful testimony. It is so true that sometimes all a person needs is a little comfort and friendship - a listening ear. It is good when we act on that still, small voice, whatever good thing it tells you to do.
God bless you