Luke 14:23 (NKJV)
“Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
What is God’s plan for your life? Is there anything He wants us to do or anyone we should be reaching out to? Have you ever taken the time to pray and ask Him? I don’t mean just throw it in at the end of your Morning Prayer time, “Hey God, let me know if there’s anything I can do for you?” That doesn’t even really sound right, but that’s what many of us do.
Over the past two months I have encountered a series of events that have been pointing this very direction. The college course I was taking had the class thinking about what we would say to people who may be hurting, searching for answers or looking for relief. Even after these assignments the topic never completely went away.
In today’s modern society we can’t help not seeing everything that’s on the news or posted on social media. Story after story about the wars, the devastation, the hunger, the homeless, and all the need there is in the world, but we question if we can really help if everything is so far away.
So, is the distance really what’s stopping us? Too often we get caught up in what we see that we forget that there are people right around us every day who may be that person we could be helping. You have to remember that need comes in many different forms, but all too often we don’t take the time to recognize the signs.
I know there have been many instances where I let my busy life be an excuse for why I don’t. At work I spend more time dealing with the next task, rather than keeping my eyes open for that co-worker or person that really could use someone to talk to. Then after a hectic day it’s just too easy to flop on the couch and turn the TV on. Most times it doesn’t even really matter what’s on as we just stare blankly at the screen.
Now if you add in family, a few relatives, and maybe even a friend or two who now want a piece of the time that may be left, you are even more distracted from what God may be showing you or asking you to do. I continued to encounter little things that kept pointing me in the same direction, but it is not easy finding where you can best serve or how you can really be a help to someone especially if we are trying to do this on our own.
So, I began praying and asking God these questions. “Lord, I can feel you calling me, but where is my place? What is it that you want from me? What do you need me to do? My first answer was more in the form of a direction rather than the complete solution I was seeking. I could see my church and hear the possibilities echo through my mind as a question came to the surface as if being asked of me. Where is the greatest need? This made me realize that I had been looking at it the wrong way. I shouldn’t just be talking about what I may be able to do, I should be rolling up my sleeves and jumping in to help where it is needed most.
With some clarity comes relief, but it was still only part of the answer. I kept praying and did not receive the rest of my answer till I went to church that weekend. I sat and listened to the message about reaching out to those around us. I could see that I had been swept up by the secular world and was blinded from seeing what may be right in front of me. This was another reminder for me of how we can lose connection with the Spirit and then stumble around in the dark.
How many in my community, where I work, or even my family are hurting? How many could use a person to talk to, a meal, clothing, or just relief from their circumstances? How many could benefit from hearing about Christ and what He has done for me? How many times have I looked away instead of reaching out with love?
If we seriously want answers to these types of questions, then we have to make an extra effort to spend time with God. Not just a few minutes, but some time to open our hearts and have a real conversation. But that is only half of it, then we must be willing to listen to what God is laying on our hearts and calling us to do.
So take some time and start by first thanking God for everything you have been given, then ask Him, “Lord, where do you want me to go, what do you need me to do? Let me see those around me I can help, give me the words to say, let me not hesitate in reaching out in your name.”
I know that this could be a scary proposition for some people, but I can tell you from experience that I am one of those people. After I was led to write my first poem, it took me two years before I was able to share it because I was afraid of what people would say. But now that I have, I have been presented with so much more. I just need to remember to stay focused and not get swept away by the distractions sent my way.
So let me end by asking you to join me in reaching out to all those around you. No matter who they are, where they are from, or if they believe in Christ. This is the example that Jesus showed us, that it don’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, we are all welcome in His house. So let us fill every seat at His table no matter where we are. Next week I will share the latest poem I was led to write, “One More.”