The Lord has really opened my eyes to things I never quite noticed before and although I have brought this up briefly in one of my previous posts I just want to touch briefly on what I mean by this statement. Let me take you through the workings of my mind right now
These are all things that I have overlooked previously, or chose not to see because I was too concerned with my own life, and my own problems.
So here is a few of the things I now see, and it is like I have some extra vision that these things that previously went unnoticed are now in full view for me to see.
I see the little boy who lost his father when he was young and lives with a mother that locks him indoors when he has been naughty
I see the mother sitting on the street with her little baby begging for money for food
I see the teenager with no future because he has lived on the street all his life
I see the father and his son running for a taxi with heavy suitcases because they don’t have a car
I see the young girl running out of church on a Sunday with tears streaming down her face don’t know why
I see the old lady tired standing at her car digging in her bag for 15 minutes and she can’t find her keys
I see the security guard being fired for switching the electric fence off to remove something that had fallen on the fence
I see the lady in my office trying desperately for a baby but does not realise that God is the only answer
I see my brother who is trying his best to keep his business running and asks for a little help from me but I am getting annoyed with him
I see my mother who did the best she could with the little she had, and I did not appreciate it
I see the elderly lady standing on the street corner and I always wind up my window
I see the lady who realises that she is in the wrong lane in traffic and cuts in front of me and I get annoyed
I see the cleaners at work who probably earn a 3rd of what I do make a living and yet I complain because I do not have enough
This is just some of what I see; every day the list gets longer. What is it that you see?
I want to help, but where do I start? So how about 1 person at a time and 1 day at a time.
Prov. 19:17 – When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord–and he pays wonderful interest on your loan!
Out of all the scriptures I have read in my life this one remains the one at the top of my list, the one that I refer to in time of need, regardless of what I am going through or what I am feeling, this Scripture always brings me back to reality, what I mean by this is that previously in my life when I went through difficult times in my life I always let those situations get the better of me, but this scripture always had this way of humbling me in a way, here I think things are so bad and yet look at what was sacrificed for me… and for you.
Which brings me to my topic of generous giving, so many of us go about our lives and it’s all about us, what we have, how much money we make, how much we get from others, how what we do for others can benefit us… well that is not how it should be, at least I do not think so, have you ever stopped to think that if everyone that counted everything they have done for you in your life and asked for payment in return how much money would you owe everyone, well with me I think I would be repaying my debt until the day I die.
If you refer back to the scripture, how unselfish was it of God to offer up his son so that we my live, how much love did he not have for us to sacrifice that for us. I was brought up with the principle that if you give someone something you should not always expect something in return, you should give it with a good heart.
I used to be one of those people that would give someone something, hoping that someday I will get something back, why? Well because I did something good, so something good needs to come back to me, well the way I see it is if I am giving someone something and expecting something in return then that is not a good deed it is a business transaction, there is a big difference.
The past couple of weeks God’ has really opened my eyes to things I never noticed before, about a little boy who lost his father at a very young age and does not have a lot because his mom is looking after both of them on just one salary and not 2, my heart goes out to him, I was in that position, I too lost my father, I know what that feels like.
Then there are these 2 homeless children on the street, I see them every day when I go to work, and every day when I come home, I see them when I go to the shops, or when I got to church, I have never once stopped to think what they must be feeling, how hungry they must be, how much they just want a warm plate of food and maybe a hot bath.
There are so many people out there that cannot afford the things we take for granted, that just need a little help from someone, that just need someone to stretch out a helping hand and not expect anything back in return.
It is that time of year when we are all buying each other gifts and planning these great big Christmas lunches or dinners, let’s take a moment to reflect on those that will not be enjoying Christmas because they are on the streets, or because they don’t have enough money, let’s try and not think so much of ourselves and try to think more of others this festive season and give a little hope to those that don’t have any.
Ecclesiastes 5:10-15 — “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a labourer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him. Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labour that he can carry in his hand.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 — “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 — “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
2 Corinthians 8:7, 13-14 — “But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. … Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality …”
This time of year is supposed to be a happy time, and for many of us it is, BUT for many of us it is not. Today I am going to tell you a bit about one of our local radio stations, at this time of the year they have the Christmas Wish, basically what this is, is people will send in wishes for someone they think needs a little or a lot of help, the radio station then gets companies involved to sponsor what the people need. It’s been on since Monday, today’s one however touched me more than the others. It was about a lady by the name of Susan, who struggles to make ends meet, she and her husband sleep on the floor and her 2 children do not have their own beds.
The wish that her friend sent through was that her friends 2 children could each have their own single bed. Well they got that, each child got a bed of their own but Susan and her husband also got a bed, as well as a R10 000 pick n pay voucher for Groceries.
Well to most this might be a small request, but if you think of it, this is a very big one. I whine and moan about my situation, and how bad things are for me, how it’s always a struggle from pay day to pay day, and I am sure there are lots of people out there that are like me but then you hear other peoples stories like this one, they don’t have beds to sleep on, I have a bed to sleep on. I take that for granted, how many of you can say that you do not take that for granted, how many of you can say that you do not have a bed to sleep on? Something that seems so small and unimportant to us seems to be big and important to other people.
So this got me thinking, and I hope it gets you thinking too. Be grateful for what you have, yes we might not earn as much money as the person that sits next to you in your office, or the director of the company, yes you might struggle to make ends meet, you might not be able to spoil yourself every now and then. You feel like it’s a constant battle just to survive, I know sometimes (many times) that is how I have felt, but I am RICH, you are RICH, WE ARE RICH, think about it if you have a bed to sleep on, a roof over your head, food on your table at night …. YOU ARE RICH, there are so many other people out there that have so little, they don’t have things that we have and that we take for granted.
I cried this morning when I heard their story, to think I have something they don’t and I think I have the right to complain. So the next time I start to complain, I hope and pray that I am reminded that I have so much more than many others, and need to be grateful for what I do have. BECAUSE I AM RICH.
So this festive season I am going to try and find someone who is less fortunate than me and I am going to do something (don’t know what) but something to make their lives a little more pleasant this Christmas, maybe it will make me feel better about my situation to put a smile on someone else’s face, and ease the pressure for someone else.
What are you going to do? Come on I challenge you go out and find someone less fortunate than yourself and try to make their lives a little easier. I can guarantee you it will make you feel better about yourself.
And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. Isaiah 58:10
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:7