Reaping and Weeping

Passenger's Seat

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.

I listened.

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  

18 thoughts on “Reaping and Weeping

  1. Courageous Jane says:

    Whew! I should know better than to read your posts when I’m at work since I sit at a desk in the middle of the public library!

    This post reminds me that there is so much I can learn from you!

  2. la says:

    Aww…this makes my heart swell and tears overflow. Thanks for reminding me its less of me and more of HIM. It is all about HIM all the time! Had you not been obedient, you would have missed out on such a beautiful blessing! Thanks for sharing your stories and encouraging us all…all glory to our FAITHFUL KING who alone is WORTHY! I love you…precious friend ❤

  3. Mary says:

    The thing we “most desperately need” is more of Him…and less of ourselves and the world! How easily we can lose sight of this! We’re distracted by the problems we face and look for answers that, at best, are like putting fingers in the dike…they won’t hold back the flood for long and, even if they could, the number of fingers available is limited. But God’s love and power is LIMITLESS!

    Rivera, THANK YOU for continuing to BE the person God created you to be…a teacher, an encourager, a lover of Him and all His creation! He’s given you a gift so that you might BECOME a gift…and you are!! I love you!!!!!

  4. Pamela Healy Nogueira says:

    You told her to stop depending on people and start depending on God…such a great reminder to us all! Girlfriend, you have gone above and beyond the call of duty!!! Your faithfulness to Him is amazing!!! You rock!!! ❤

  5. Audrey Malloy says:

    An amazing story of Love in action!!
    You have demonstrated love, obedience and perserverance so beautifully my friend!!! …. And What a God gift for us all!!!!! He is So Awesome!!!!
    Thank you Rivera! Hope this encourages and blesses, as I know I have been!!! Love you 🙂

  6. Sara Johnson says:

    Rivera, I write with tears flowing. What a beautiful story of friendship, compassion and devotion. You are beautiful, inside and out. How many times has God asked us to do little, seemingly insignificant things, and we said no. I know I have. And then I justify….. I’m too busy, it’s too far, I’m too tired. I have been working on this and asking God to keep me focused on His voice. Your writing inspires me always and feeds my spirit. Thank you for your obedience.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Sara, thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. They are timely and a healing balm, as I just received a nasty hate mail comment on another older post! The enemy tries to get us down and get us to quit! But God, in His faithfulness, places encouragers there at just the right time! Thank you for your obedience to encourage w truth, and in doing so, help lift me up this morning:)

  7. Angie O. says:

    “i want you to love her the way i love you”….oh, what a wonderful word, wonderful story, wonderful message, wonderful friend, wonderful SAVIOR! thanks for sharing, such a blessing!

  8. jumpingonclouds says:

    Oh, Rivera, what a truly miraculous experience. I think if we saw what God was really doing behind the scenes we’d fall over in awe. I’m so blessed by your story. Thank you for the encouragement through your obedience and your blessing. I’ve had numerous experiences like this, and when God pulls back the curtain I’m humbled by my begrudging attitude. I just don’t see it.

    Blessings to you!

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