When the text came through, I was in a conference call. “Are you already in bed?”
It was 9 pm. I wasn’t in bed, but I was close. I was sitting on my bed in PJ’s, listening carefully to every word in this call. I replied via text, “What’s going on?”
You might recall my post Messy Blessings and how helping isn’t always easy. It’s easy to help when it’s convenient, or when we receive accolades. But, when helping messes with our little world and interrupts what we’re doing, it gets frustrating.
This text was sent by my new friend, the single mom in Messy Blessings. Over this holiday season, helping her has blessed me. But, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve had to repent and ask forgiveness for my attitude about it several times.
I’ve prayed for God to intervene and provide her with a car. After all, that’s really not too much to ask. She needs a car, and He’s a BIG God, right? He can do it! But He hasn’t.
I’ve known all along He’s had His reasons. I’ve often felt one of His reasons was more about Him working something out in my heart rather than her. At different times I’ve asked, “Lord, why do You want ME to be one of her primary sources of transportation to and from work? Really? Can’t You see I’m busy? Lord, you’ve given me LOTS of other responsibilities, why now? Today? Don’t you know I’m tired?”
God spoke to my heart, “Rivera, I want you to love her the way I’ve loved you.”
I thought, “That’s a pretty tall order. I’m not sure I’m capable of doing that. For me to love her that way and continue helping, God will have to do it for me. He’ll have to do it through me.”
I kept saying yes, though reluctantly at times, and God kept showing Himself. Our conversations would typically come around to Him. God would open the way for me to speak truth. In that alone, I began to see why He had me there.
I thought, “If I’m going to spend my time doing this, she’s going to hear a few things in the process: that she’s worthy, that Jesus loves her, that He has a good plan for her, that she has to trust and depend on Him and not people.”
I had asked her if she knew Jesus as her Savior several times, and each time she assured me she did. I told her, “People will let you down, but God will always be there. Stop listening to the lies of the enemy that you aren’t good enough. Listen to the truth of the Word, it won’t lie to you. The Truth never lies. Remember who you are in Christ–loved, blessed, forgiven, favored, cherished, confident, pure–and cling to that! Don’t forget it!”
So last night when the text came through, though I was ready for bed AND in the middle of an important phone meeting, I felt a flip in my attitude.
She and her son had been dropped off downtown for an appointment. When she told me she had tried other people for 3 hours and couldn’t get a ride home, I was glad to go get her. Actually, my heart was broken that she and her son had been stuck there for so long.
As we pulled into her driveway, she talked. Her son went inside to get ready for bed.
To my surprise, she began confessing that she was unsure of her salvation. She had been afraid and anxious to do anything about it, especially in a public place like church. She was timid telling me.
In that moment everything came full circle, and I realized the magnitude of this mission. It was God’s relentless love for her and His mission to reach her soul. He knew her needs were much greater than physical. Aren’t they always?
Our greatest need is our need for our Savior! God often allows people to be in desperate situations, so they’ll seek Him for what they need. In the process, they find what they most desperately need…Him! Relationship with Him. Time with Him. Intimacy with Him.
Of course, I prayed with her. I started and she repeated after me in her own words. She wept as she asked for forgiveness, to be saved and to be sure. She told Him she believed everything about Jesus dying for her and how He is alive today. She asked Jesus to be the only leader of her life.
As she got out of the car, her face radiated joy and peace…relief…Jesus! I think she may have glided a few inches off the ground to her front door.
God is good, all the time. His plans are good. And when we can’t see what He’s doing or why He’s doing it, we have to trust Him and stay faithful to all He asks us to do, big or small.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~Galatians 6:9