Stop - Look - Listen
I personally believe that God is constantly speaking to me by introducing thoughts into my mind. But if your mind is like mine, it is so 'cluttered' or 'inundated' with distractions, information, 'to do lists' and who knows what else, that I don't often hear what He is saying to me. Maybe I should learn to follow that railroad crossing admonition to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.
Next posting will be LISTEN
"David counsels us in Psalm 46:10, “Cease striving and know that I am God;…” Most of us live such harried lives dashing from this activity to that meeting to back home, then on to church that we hardly have time to stop and take a breath. And once we finally do stop, we are so exhausted that we collapse in a chair or in bed and we are gone. Does this describe your life at all or am I the only one who has just two speeds – fast and off.
You may have heard the old saying, “Don’t just stand there, do something!” But let me suggest that God’s message to us is this, “Don’t just do something, stand there.” Stop! “Cease striving!”
How often do we shut off the TV, shut off our cell phones, shut off our computers and iPads, get away from people and just stop long enough to give our loving Owner an opportunity to speak to us through our thoughts?
We home schooled all four of our daughters and as such we spend huge amounts of time teaching them the Bible as well as all the other subjects. When my two oldest daughters, Bethany and Anna, were still quite young, I had been sharing with them I John 3:17, which says, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” We were trying to teach them that how we respond to those in need shows whether we really love God or not.
Well, as the next Sunday rolled around, I happened to be preaching that morning and Pam was playing the piano and as is often the case with a family with small children, we were running late. Church was supposed to be starting in ten minutes and we were at least twelve minutes from the church building. We jumped into the car and hurried out of the driveway and sped on to church.
On the main street to the church that morning we happened to drive by an elderly bag lady type walking down the side of the road pulling a cart with a big bag of something. I crossed over into the left lane so as to not get too close to her and drove on by. Bethany broke the silence and asked me, “Daddy, don’t you love God?” I said, “Of course I do, honey, why do you ask?” I can still remember what she said next like it was yesterday. She asked, “Daddy, that lady needs help and we have a car. If we really love God, shouldn’t we stop and help her?” My daughter had seen a need because she was looking. I, on the other hand, with my obvious blind spots had not seen a thing. I was in too big of a hurry to get to church so I could minister to the needs of the congregation to see anybody with needs on the way.
I immediately stopped the car, backed up to where the bag lady was, opened the trunk put her bundle of laundry in, had her climb in the back seat with my girls and we drove her to the laundromat. I gave her my name and phone number and told her if she ever needed a ride anywhere to call us. We jumped back in the car and dashed on to church amazingly arriving two minutes early instead of two minutes late. Go figure.
May I share with you a profound spiritual truth that I have only recently come to fully understand? A truth that has radically impacted my life. Here it is: I need to give just as desperately as the poor need to receive. I am just as needy as they are, just in a different kind of way. So, when I see a need and respond to it, I am proving to myself and to our Owner that His love does indeed abide in me.
I am still continuing to look even more carefully at what and who is around me and how I might be a blessing to them. As an example, I have decided to carry a few $5 bills around with me so whenever I see anyone in need, I have something already set aside to share and bless them in Jesus’ name. It is amazing how different spontaneous giving is, when you already have something set aside to give away. "