Sunday, October 16, 2011

The sunrise on the darkest night

Do you ever have one of those days when you just don't hit on all cylinders? You know those days when things are just not going right no matter what you try? You try hard to pull yourself together and try to have a great attitude, but it just doesn't work? Well, last Thursday was one of those days for me and I was just not up to par. I wasn't sick, I was just filled with an assortment of emotions that left me feeling discouraged in my spirit. Mainly self-pity stuff. You know, those arguments you have with yourself and God that usually go round and round about how you think your plans are better than God's plan for your life? It's a lot like the conversations that the Israelites had with God in the wilderness after Egypt. They would be happy about being free one minute and then be complaining about not having meat to eat the next. Well, that’s what was happening for me and I was rolling around and wrestling with God about bringing us down here to New Orleans.

On my way home from work that day I cried out to God for some sort of encouragement for my spirit. Then when I arrived home I went in took a shower and did my daily check of my email and there in my inbox were two emails from godly friends in Kentucky. The emails were both very similar. They both basically said that they were praying for me today and that they felt God telling them to send a note of encouragement and on top of that, both of them had decided to begin supporting us financially!

I don’t know if you have ever been really discouraged and received a note from a friend far away, but it is so refreshing. It is like seeing the sunrise on the darkest night. It was an answer to prayer--a perfect ending to a terrible day. I cannot tell you how awesome it is to receive something when you are down. The emails weren’t very long, but they were just what my spirit needed. Then this morning during our time in God’s word as a community we read these verses from 2 Corinthians 9,6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. 13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

You never know when what you write may be the sunrise on someone’s darkest night.When we are following God and aware of His presence in our lives, we have the opportunity to either bless others or be blessed by them. I came away from this week here on the mission field ready to love people more and to listen to His still small voice when He prompts me to contact or encourage or give to someone in need. May we all walk daily in the presence of God so we can be the sunrise in someone’s darkest night.