My world is dealing with people in transition. How do I stay focused and positive. First, I never take on another persons problem or burden…God gives them the grace to handle not me…therefore I sleep at night when dealing with a disgruntled homeless man, or a tough marriage counseling case or a guy long out of work…”leave it at the office.” I offer counsel, ideas, biblical truth and prayer. Second, I pray for courage and new thinking for them and for wisdom for me(Proverbs Chapter 1-9 solves that issue for this guy) and for grace as I tend to have the sin of being judgmental. Third, I remember what some wise men have said outside of the Bible and review on occasion such as follows:
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. Frederick Buechner
God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing. Blackaby-Experiencing God
It is not the critic that counts nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, who’s face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly..Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory or defeat. Teddy Roosevelt.
God has prepared good works beforehand for you …Ephesians 2:10 as paraphrased by me.
The evangelical church stands on precipice of routine. Sunday worship (1/2 hour singing, 45 minutes preaching, coffee and go home), giving money to others and an occasion week or two week mission trip to help lost souls. This is all good and serves a mighty purpose. But the repetition of this type of worship alone can squelch the fire of passion for Christ and life. There is no greater joy than seeing men and women respond to Christ through us, helping a neighbor through a tough time or meeting once a week with a street kid who needs someone to care…or in my case bible studies with homeless men.
Are we going to miss the joy of getting our “hands dirty for God?” There are many serving but there are so many more who are missing the joy and passion of “coming along side” for an extended period to model Christ’s love, compassion and message. We cannot delegate to the government through its programs what God has tasked us to do.
Wow. I think of Freddy, Colin, Gary and Ron visiting prisoners on a regular basis and you will know others. I appreciate my board members Paul, Spike and Steve who faithfully enter the lives of individuals over periods of time, building relationships….not as a project but as a labor of love…and seeing life changing results in others and themselves. Hailu (L) and prison chaplain Beza (R) influence hundreds of youth and men in their service to the Lord.
If you ask God for someone in your life to help, that person will appear when you least expect it…and may be at the next desk, the neighborhood bar-b-que or right in your own church. Read those statements above one more time. Don’t feel guilty, ask God for the person today. As my dad use to say, “Let your reach exceed your grasp” and with God “nothing is impossible.”