Prayer opens new doors
This is maybe the most transparent article I will ever write (I hope so since it’s kinda hard to put myself out there), but it needs to be written.
In my Christian Ministries Capstone class in college (the end of all my classes, the cherry on the top class) we were asked to create a service group that helped people in any way we could. There were no restrictions, so we had free reign. And I was stumped on what I was most interested in doing. . . until I asked God to show me what I could do to make a difference. He handed me the keys to His heart when He asked me to help the unlikable people of the world.
Why me, Lord? I asked. I sensed His answer “Because You asked me and these people need help.” And I cried; big hot streaming tears were filling my face and tee-shirt as my heart shook with shame. I was, and still am, so aware of the many times I dismissed the unlikables. Because I didn’t like them either.
And God whispered:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Jesus did not say love just the easy-to-get-along-with neighbors. He said to love them all. Even the negative, the outcasts, the ones with horrible breath and food in their teeth that spit it on you when they talk. All of them.
Oh, why did I ask for His help in this? Why didn’t I just create a group to wash cars for the elderly?
For me, I thought, it’s not about showing God’s love and grace. It’s just that I stay clear of them, not wanting to be bothered or dumped on since most of them carry around so much negativity.
And God whispered: Good excuse, Becky. Such a sweet attitude you have there. (More tears).
After God finally got my undivided attention, I asked for His forgiveness in running away from the unlikeables. He assured me that He would give me His love to show my love. It wouldn’t be done in my human power, but in His supernatural outstanding, loving power.
I wish I could tell you this had happened years ago and I could share all that God’s taught me how to love and give grace to everyone. But, this is only the beginning of my journey . . . it’s two weeks old . . . and I’m just finishing up the class.
I still have a very long way to go in my new Jesus-like response to the unlikables. But I know it will happen and one day in heaven I believe God will show me how He changed the hearts of outcasts through my purposeful, focused attention by saying yes. God wants these people to feel His love as much as He does the easy-to-be-around people. He uses us to do it. I will help them, showing kindness, grace, love, and some attention, filling a need they have. And I’ll wait for instructions from the Lord in creative, thoughtful ways to help them to feel loved in tangible ways.
The result has already been precious, but I can’t share the stories here because one of these hurting souls might read it. But I will share that God has power-washed my heart and is showing me how to help the people that life neglects.
By the way, God is so wise. A benefit of saying yes is that my heart has been softened like melted butter, and I’m learning to love like Jesus loves: without judgment. Baby steps, but I’m moving forward.
Prayer is life changing, so hang on for a wonder-filled, joyous experience as we talk with the Lord of our lives. We hope you will be blessed and encouraged. If you don’t see the link on your Facebook newsfeed, just bookmark JoyfulTimesToday.com so you may check in throughout the day for spiritual encouragement and positive, upbeat articles. You may also enjoy our Verse of the Day posts and other evening prayer posts found here:
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