Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post - Inconvenienced... by Charity

A few posts ago I wrote about my brother and his family here. His wife Charity wrote the following post and she allowed me to share on my blog.   When I read this post I was so convicted. I have thought about it all week. How many times have I missed God, because I was to busy, too focused on my to do list, worrying about little ol' me, looking where I was headed or just plain out wasn't paying attention?  I will be honest and tell you, when my agenda or my plan for the day is the least bit off, I tend to get irritated, and inconvenience comes with a price, and sometimes the cost is too high. I would like to say that I have become more aware of those that are around me this week, I mean I have more so than usual, but not as much as I should. This sentence really hits me.....
"The moments where we can be "Jesus with skin on" to someone in need are all around us. 

Posted: 27 Apr 2012 10:54 AM PDT
Post #3 in a week. I'm on a roll now! ;D

I've been thinking about something I heard last fall at our District Women's Conference. The special speaker shared a statement that has been bouncing around in my head for over 6 months now.

She said..."We are only limited by our willingness to be inconvenienced."

Are we willing to be inconvenienced by the Holy Spirit? Are we willing to take time out of our day to do what He is leading us to do? Are we willing to listen and obey?

We have had this opportunity presented twice in the last week.

The first time was on Sunday, after a wonderful church service and delicious pot-luck with the church family.

We were heading down the mountain still dressed in our Sunday clothes and we passed an older couple with their three grandchildren stopped on the side of the mountain attempting to change a tire.

Scott quickly turned around and we headed back to help them. They had tried to call AAA, but could get no service that high on the mountain.

The older gentleman was having trouble finding the jack and once Scott began trying to loosen the lug nuts, we both realized this gentleman would have never been able to loosen them on his own. Scott was fighting with them pretty hard.

Within 15 minutes, Scott was done and we were preparing to head on down the mountain. Before we could leave, they insisted we take money from them. It was such a sweet surprise as we expected nothing in return.

It was one of those moments when God spoke to Scott's heart and in obedience he responded...yes.

Yesterday, we experienced the second opportunity. We were sitting in a Wendy's in Asheville eating a late lunch and as we sat there, I observed a young woman sitting by herself alternating between texting and making calls on her phone. Eventually she moved to the counter, and I listened as she asked where the closest bus stop was located. The ladies told her it was downtown. And to top it off, it was pouring rain.

I began feeling the Holy Spirit's tug on my heart, the whispered words of..."Are you willing to be inconvenienced?"

If that were not enough, Christian music was playing throughout the restaurant and at that very moment one of my favorites, Francesca Battistelli's "It's Your Life" began to play.

The lyrics pounded in my head as I sat there weighing my options, knowing there was only one.

This is the moment
It’s on the line
Which way you gonna fall?
In the middle between
Wrong and right
But you know after all

It’s your life
What you gonna do?
The world is watching you
Every day the choices you make
Say what you are and who
Your heart beats for
It’s an open door
It’s your life

Are you who you always said you would be?
With a sinking feeling in your chest
Always waiting for someone else to fix you
Tell me when did you forget

To live the way that you believe
This is your opportunity
To let your life be one that lights the way

What else could we do? So I looked at Scott and said, "Find out if she needs a ride."
He immediately knew what was going on inside of me and walked over to her. She did need a ride to the bus station and we were ready when she was. 

The ironic thing was...two other people came up and offered her a ride during this time.

It reminded me of the Scripture in Esther where she is facing life or death as she prepares to go before the king. Mordecai simply reminds her...

"For if you remain silent at this time, 
relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, 
but you and your father’s family will perish
And who knows but that you have come to royal position 
for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14

Had I not been obedient, God had a plan in place to take care of this young woman, but He wanted to use me and He wanted my obedience.

We drove her the few miles to the bus station and told her just a little about our family as she shared about her little girl and showed us her beautiful picture. 

We gave her our prayer card and told her to keep in touch. She promised she would and while I was typing this blog, not 3 hours later, she emailed us.

She thanked us for the ride, wished us well on our journey to Venezuela, told us of how she would like to come and visit our church one day, and requested our prayers for her and her family.

Of course, we will pray for her! 

God asked us to be a part of an opportunity that He presented to bless another and we said yes. 

I am ashamed to say we haven't always said yes. I'm not really sure how many times God has spoken to our hearts and we have either not heard him, or worse, ignored His promptings.

I don't share these two stories to pat ourselves on the back or brag about what we are "doing for God."

I share because I can't help but tell you what God is teaching on this journey. 

The moments where we can be "Jesus with skin on" to someone in need are all around us. 

Are we willing to open our eyes to those be blessed beyond measure when we see how God can use us to minister to others?

The first couple was able to bless us back, the second young lady...well, we got to bless her without strings attached. And in the process, God blessed us with the the knowledge that...this time, we listened to His still small voice and were willing to be inconvenienced for Him!

“Then the King will say to those on his right, 

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; 

take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you 

since the creation of the world. 

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, 
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, 
I was a stranger and you invited me in, 
I needed clothes and you clothed me, 
I was sick and you looked after me, 
I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
   “Then the righteous will answer him, 
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, 
or thirsty and give you something to drink? 
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, 
or needing clothes and clothe you? 
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, 
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, 
you did for me.’
Matthew 25:34-40
Visit to learn more about their Journey! God is good!

6 comments: said...

Hi Piper! So blessed to have found you! And I know this was ordained by God. I so needed to hear this today. Thank you Jesus & thank you Piper for being open to His voice.

Lori said...

Thanks so much for sharing, and for the reminder that each day doesn't belong to us, it is on loan from God, Who owns them all and grants them to us for His good purposes. Blessings, visiting from BLN.

Gail Purath said...

You are right, Piper, your sister-in-laws experiences are very convicting. So much of serving God is inconveniencing ourselves in the small things. Thanks for sharing this on B&BB. I'm praying that your blogging and your relationship with the Lord will be especially sweet this week.

Lee said...

This is so true. And convicting! How often do we rush along in life and miss out. I'm far too guilty. Thanks for sharing!

Laura Hodges Poole said...

Thanks, Piper and Charity. What a beautifully written and convicting post. God bless both of you.

Gail Purath said...

Praying you have a blessed week, Piper. Your other link didn't work on B&BB...not sure why? God bless! Gail