Oh the Lord works in mysterious ways!! I was all set to start writing this post with one thing on my mind, listening to Pandora on my iPhone, and sitting down to the computer. Nowadays I listen to Contemporary Christian music mostly but I just love, love Randy Travis (thank you for that to my college roommate, Heather, from so many years ago!). So I have a station on Pandora that plays mostly him and other great “older” country songs. Now they don’t seem that “old” to me really, but I think they are starting to get there 🙂 Anyway, a song I haven’t heard in a while came on, just as I started to write, and I had to laugh at the irony! Today we are talking about Relational Strength (and friendships) and the song was, “You Find Out Who Your Friends”, by Tracy Lawerence – click here if you want to watch the youtube video. And if you’ve never heard it, here’s a great excerpt:When the water’s high When the weather’s not so fair When the well runs dry Who’s gonna be there? You find out who your friends are Somebody’s gonna drop everything Run out and crank up their car Hit the gas, get there fast Never stop to think, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Or ‘It’s way too far’ They just show on up with their big ol’ heart You find out who your friends are, yeah yeah You find out who your friends are
So I got to thinking about…who are my friends? Who would come through for me, if I called? Who would I drop everything for? I remembered that, in Kindergarten and Preschool, friends are often called “neighbors”. Mr Rogers came into millions of homes, every day, for years, and he taught about how to be a good friend to other people by word and example (this shout-out to Mr. Rogers is especially for my sister-in-law: I know how you loved him, girl!) and he always asked, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”.
Jesus said we are commanded to love our neighbors and He told us how to do it well. An expert in the law asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘˜Look after him,’ he said, ‘˜and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” asked Jesus
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (NIV, Luke 10:29-37).
Sometimes, I have been the Samaritan sacrificing time, money, and a little piece of my heart. Sometimes, I have been the one who was abandoned and in desperate need of help. And sadly, sometimes, I have been the Levite, just passing on by. What I have learned, from having walked a mile in each pair of those shoes (sandals?), was best said by Mordecai to Queen Esther (please forgive my paraphrase/”poetic license” of the NIV): if you do not help, relief and deliverance will arise from another place…just think, who knows but that you have been put here for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
For the past two years we have been studying various stories dealing with missionaries in our homeschool curriculum. But what God has been teaching me, personally and painfully, for a very long time is that He has called me to minister right here, to the people that He puts in front of me. Amazing confirmation: our Pastor touched on the very same thing this past Sunday. You, too, are living in your very own mission field. Like a real-life missionary, sometimes the environment feels hostile or, it feels like you don’t have all the resources you need to accomplish the task at hand, and you must rely on God for protection and provision. Sometimes those you serve don’t see your service as the gift it is. And sometimes you wonder why the LORD has such a high opinion of you, that He would think you could accomplish these difficult tasks He has given you. But certainly, He knows better what we are capable of than we do. Mostly, what I try to remember is that Jesus promised: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). He will be with you and give you the answers/resources/strength when you need it. He is the friend we can always rely on, the One who sticks closer than a brother (Prov 18:24). It is important to keep God’s Word in our hearts by reading scripture (the Word) and being in relationship with Him (the Word). I am still trying to learn to be quiet so I can hear Him, be quiet so He can comfort me, be quiet so He can reign in each situation and direct my path. He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (NIV, Micah 6:8).
In Chapter Two’s message, did the LORD encourage you, convict you, comfort you, call to you? Please share!
JustAgirl…just like you!