I’ve had something brewing in my heart for the past few months. Today, I want to share it with you.
Sometimes, this life and this world can be overwhelming. There are so many hurting people in this world. There are so many issues that we are facing that are beyond comprehension: Sex Trafficking, IsIs, Syria, the global water crisis, extreme poverty…the list goes on. Often, the issues seem so much bigger than we are. We wonder how we can help when the need is endless. What can we do?
WE CAN DO SOMETHING.
In my life, the enemy has used these thoughts to try and debilitate my passion. He has tried to discourage me, telling me that I can’t make a difference. Honestly, many times I have believed it. Let me tell you something very important, these are LIES. God tells us to love HIM and then go love our neighbors. Maybe we can’t end the crisis in Syria today, but I know someone who can, and he just happened to create the universe. God sometimes calls us to the BIG challenges in life, but often, he calls us to simply love. Love the people that are right in front of you. Love your family. Love your friends. Love the homeless man that you pass on the street everyday when you’re going to work. I honestly believe that if we start doing this. If the church starts to rise up and step out in radical love, this world will change. Families will change. Marriages will change. Communities will change.
I have a friend who’s life embodies the testimony and power of love. This is her story:
“I did not grow up in a christian home. I grew up with parents who went towards alcohol and drugs as their savior. My parents separated when I was a little girl and as life started to go on I noticed that it started to impact me; me not even knowing what I was doing but seeing how I was hurting others. When I was 12 I was in this program called Big Brothers Big Sisters and I got given a big “sister” to see every week, her name is Janice. She is a Christian and God really knew that I needed her in my life. So fast forward two an a bit years I decided to move in with my aunt and uncle because I saw that it was a better suited for me. Living with them was great but because of how I grew up, I did not meet their standards that they were asking of me. I was a disgruntled, depressed, manipulative little girl who turned towards drugs an alcohol as her savior but to her knowing was not it. Therefore they saw all of that and they didn’t know what to do with me, I mean who would? So when I was 16 I lost a lot, including friends and family, and I didn’t really know where my life was going. I thought I couldn’t go on anymore because everyone stopped loving me to what I had seen. I had dreamed of what of maybe my life looked like and all I could see was me turning into my parents and I didn’t want anyone to remotely go through that. I decided to try to commit suicide because I thought that was the best option, but God had a different plan for me. God saved me through what happened and I decided then not to give up, to pick myself up from the ground and to keep running. My aunt and uncle found out what happened so they wanted me to move in with my dad but to my unknowing Janice had asked them if I could move in with her. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life! She introduced me to Christianity, to a new life of knowing that I was loved, and to knowing that I had a purpose; Obviously God showed me all of that as well but Janice was a big component of it all. So to this story, is that even all of that happened through my childhood, none of that defines who I am as a person. I know who I am through Jesus Christ because He saved me! I have been adopted for six years with the best mom on the earth! God really knew who I needed to put up with me and she has never given up on me and that’s all I could have ever asked for.”
So, I’m sharing this to encourage you like it did me. My friend’s life would be heading in a dark direction if her ‘big sister’ Janice hadn’t decided to step out and choose to radically love her. My friend’s life has been forever changed, and now she is traveling the world to tell people about Jesus’ love. THIS is the power of living radically and loving those God places in your path.
My prayer is that we all focus on love those around us this year. To not be overwhelmed by all of the despair in this world, but to keep looking to HIM, the creator and author of our salvation. To let our love flow out of an abundance of Jesus’ love in us.