Over the course of the last several months I’ve been experiencing some health issues that have kept me in bed most days. At times I would get up, look in the mirror and realize that my bright blue eyes had lost their sparkle. There was a certain sadness that lay beneath and around the corners of my eyes. I would take in a deep breath, shrug my shoulders and then crawl back into my cozy safe bed.
I’ve been studying in Thessalonians with some very sweet wonderful ladies these last three weeks. Over the course of this time God’s been doing a work in me that is not easy for me to explain only to say that He has been turning the purifying flame up a little hotter this time so that the dross that is deep down has been able to dislodge and come to the surface so that he can wipe it away. The important thing to note is that this is an unpleasant, somewhat painful process that we sometimes need to go through to get rid of some ugly so that God can continue to move us forward toward His goal for our lives.
Friends, this week as I was reading about all the stuff that the Apostle Paul was going through during this time I realized that through the floggings and beatings he took, the shipwrecks, the imprisonment, the stoning he remained devoted to Jesus Christ and the church. No matter those obstacles he did not allow them to become a hindrance to his mission of sharing the gospel. At some point during this week I felt the wake-up. I felt like Jesus placed his hands on my shoulders and looked into my weary eyes and said, “enough”. It is time that you got up, and continue on this path that I have placed you on. You have allowed the enemy to take up too much room in your mind. That’s it! God you are right. I have allowed the enemy to jab at me day after day, steal sleep from my eyes, occupy my thoughts and weigh my body down with unnecessary burdens. And I do not want any of it, as a matter of a fact my strength is in Jesus. It is time for me to get up out of this bed, and boldly walk confidently down the path toward the goal God has for me.
So tonight hubby and I were running some errands and I was driving so he could run in and out of our stops quickly. As we were at our last stop I had my head down playing candy crush on my iphone as I had done during this whole trip. I had a feeling come over me and I felt compelled to look up. When I did I seen this man standing against the building. He wasn’t very old, perhaps early thirties. He had tried to speak to a couple of people as they were walking by each one shaking their head as they quickly passed him. I knew at that moment that he was probably homeless and was asking for money. So when Felix came out of the store, I pointed to the young man and asked Felix to go ask him what was wrong. I rolled my window down so that I could be a part of the conversation and we learned that his name is Steve and he is homeless and hungry. His time had ran out at the shelter and honestly there really isn’t any other place for a young single man to go. We had the opportunity to pray with him and share God with him. Felix gave Steve his number and the address of our mission and told him to stop in Saturday night and we would have some more food and hygiene products for him. He was grateful and as we were saying goodbye my eyes caught his and I seen the despair, the loneliness, the hopelessness, the sadness. Now, if know us or if you follow my blog you will know that we have worked with homeless people for about four years now. Most of the time within 5 minutes of speaking with them I can pretty much summarize their situation. Every now and then, you will meet someone that has a certain look in their eyes that only disappointment and time on the streets can put there.
As we drove home, I began to cry. I could see his dirty fingernails reaching out in thankfulness for the food. I can see his brown hair curl around his face but the impact of the hurt I seen behind his eyes I believe I will see in my dreams tonight. Friends, I encourage you today that no matter what situation you are in, financial, physical, spiritual or emotional not to loose the sparkle of the holy spirit in your eyes. As you wake up this morning and walk to your mirror boldy and confidently know that you are a work of art created by the master. You are more than your circumstances. You are more than your past mistakes and failures. You are more than your personal finances and all the material belongings you may or may not have. Your life has been delicately and wonderfully strung together by moments and encounters as you journey along the path toward the goal that God create you for. You are loved so much. So my friend, stand up, pull your shoulders back, take a deep breath and reflect God’s glory and impact someone’s life today.