I knew this was going to be tough. Writing a post every day is difficult, even when you’re at your best. Lately, however; I’ve been preoccupied. I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit in among fellow believers and among non-believers. It’s a difficult thing to be somewhere in the middle and have no real frame of reference for what is going on in your heart and in your mind. Lest you think I’m going crackers, I would like to reassure you that I am okay. I’m just going through a season of introspection and what I’m finding is this; it’s not about me. I already knew this on some level, but the knowledge certainly hadn’t prevented me from wallowing in self-pity when I didn’t get my way. It didn’t keep me from sitting around wondering why people weren’t doing what I wanted them to do. It pretty much just rested there waiting for me to latch onto it and understand that when people or situations come into our lives, their purpose isn’t necessarily to help us with some challenge we’ve been facing. Sometimes, they are led to us so that we can help them experience a shift in their perspective. Sometimes, they need our help. But if we are so focused on what we think they should be doing for us that we miss an obvious plea for help or guidance; we miss God. Have you noticed that the same type of person seems to show up on your radar time after time? If so, maybe they haven’t been failing you; maybe you have failed them.
I’ve been listening to Joyce Meyer talk about having a servant-like attitude. She says that we need to be able to put on the servant’s clothes and reach out and help others where we are gifted to do so. If we think, for some reason, that we are too good to do this then we are missing our opportunity to be a light to others and to show God’s grace and mercy as a powerful force in our own lives. There is a difference, however; in putting on a servant mentality and in just bowing down to the will of another person. I’m not suggesting that we put aside our own personal power to do something for someone that they are completely capable of doing for themselves. That falls more under the category of enabling. What I’m suggesting is that when we see someone struggling in a particular area or who seems to have the desire to stay stuck in a cycle of sin or self-destruction, that we understand that this is the product of a real stronghold in their life. When we see this, we need to provide a gentle reminder to them that God is with them. We need to remind them that He is listening and that all He requires is for them to reach out to Him and receive His love. We don’t need to bombard them with Bible verses or even to give them every resource we have in our possession to ensure that they have everything they could possibly need to study the Word. Sometimes the best thing we can do for another person is to listen. If they will allow us to do this, we need to sit and pay attention to what they are saying and just be a calming presence for them where we can. We may not be able to solve all of their problems or even keep them from hurting themselves; but we can be a reflection of God’s light that they will remember the next time they are in trouble. If we do this enough, we begin to replace the negatives in their life with a positive reassurance that God loves them and is there for them.
Our natural tendency as we experience life is to wonder what is in it for us. It isn’t something we need to be ashamed of; just something we need to make sure we don’t get so caught up in that we forget about the role we play in His plan for all of humanity. According to Ecclesiastes 9:2, “All share a common destiny–the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.” To me, this implies that there is not one person out there who isn’t worthy of our help when we can give it. It means that whenever we walk away from an opportunity to reach out, we are ignoring God. We are telling Him that His plan doesn’t suit us somehow and that we want Him to do better for us. While He is a patient God; a gracious God, He will not tolerate this kind of childishness forever. How can we be sure that through the decisions we make, we aren’t turning our nose up at the gifts He is giving us? When is it God? When is it satan trying to pull us away from God’s will for our lives?
Day 2 for me is going to be about recognizing what He is sending my way and understanding the difference between what is meant to knock me off track and what is meant to pull me off of my own path and onto His. Yesterday, I wanted to tell as many people as possible what He has done for me. Today, I want to tell as many as possible what He can do for them. God willing, I’ll have more to say tomorrow.