Recently my wife and I took in an old friend who was down and out. When we first spoke to her she was on the edge of doing some really bad stuff, and we just felt really impressed by the Lord to do more than simply encourage her and tell her that everything is going to be okay. So we asked her and her daughter to come stay with us until they could get back on their feet.
We knew that this would not be an easy journey, especially since we have been a little tight financially recently. But we knew that this is what God wanted us to do. I cannot help but to think about the verse where Jesus talks about this issue…
Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
Matthew 25:34-40 (ESV)
When this woman and her 8-year-old child came to us, they basically only had the shirts on their backs. I had the great pleasure of leading the child to the Lord during Kid’s Church on one Sunday morning. The hope that we started to see in their eyes was one of the greatest rewards that I could ask for.
Unfortunately, things never did completely work out with this whole situation. I’ve also had to use some Godly wisdom to do the right thing. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. Sometimes people want to change, but simply cannot break away from old habits. The last thing that I want to do is to bad-mouth this person for not succeeding and taking full advantage with the opportunity that they had in front of them. However, I just pray that they take the situation as a learning opportunity, and remember the testimonies that we shared.
I want nothing more than for them to get back on their feet, and give God the glory for carrying them through it all. People keep telling me that I will get a blessing for what I’ve done, but that doesn’t even interest me right now for some reason. I just want to see restoration. I want to see lives and relationships restored. I want to see people grow closer to God. I believe that this is the heart of God working in my life. If nothing else I am encouraged to be a part of the work that God wants to do, and I am happy to submit myself as a willing vessel. It is just important to remember that with this heart to help people, we must also use wisdom to know when we are to stop as well.
What are you doing to share the redemptive heart of God today? Who are you reaching out to? Show someone how much you love them today.