This week has been tough. Iâ€™m not speaking only from my perspective, but for thousands, no check that, millions of people who are hurting this week. I have been watching the news nearly nonstop. My heart has been broken time and time again as I see the images of so many people hurting in the hurricane ripped states of our country.
As Iâ€™ve been watching the images, Iâ€™ve been convicted, upset and humbled to see how so many of our fellow countrymen are hurting. While Iâ€™ve kept up with the happenings that have followed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Iâ€™ve been wrestling with God.
See my first response to anything like this is, â€œI am going.â€ Over the past couple years Iâ€™ve seen that all too often my response isnâ€™t God-directed, but me-directed. It is because I think it will impress people and win me spiritual merit badges. Of course, this is crap! It shows that I still have so much more growth ahead of me as I learn that my identity is completely in Jesus and Jesus alone.
As Iâ€™ve prayed, Iâ€™ve realized that I have responsibilities and those responsibilities â€“ working to raise support full-time to join staff with Athletes in Action – are a must at this stage of my life. It would be easier for me to go, than to give because I donâ€™t have too much to give. I have to be â€œsmartâ€ with my money, or so Iâ€™m told. I have to watch every penny as I raise support. So Iâ€™ve wrestled with God, â€œGod I canâ€™t give. I donâ€™t have that much too give. Did you forget that Iâ€™m trying to raise my own support? Of course you didnâ€™t because you are God; you know my thoughts before they come to my mind. But Godâ€¦â€ I think you get the idea. The problem with all of that wrestling is that it is about â€œmeâ€ or â€œI.â€ Look at all of my â€œIâ€ and â€œmeâ€ statements right within the little I wrote.
So what am I getting at? I need to give sacrificially, because God has given me so much. Even though my money is tight and Iâ€™m trusting God to provide enough money for me to live next month I need to give to help these people. Give anything! Time, money, a week of vacation to go down there, anything, but please just give to see these people provided for and also to see the Lordâ€™s name lifted up through this!
Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Iâ€™m not trying to get you to give out of compulsion. I just want to challenge you, because Iâ€™ve been challenged by the Lord over the last week. I would love to write more, but Iâ€™m going to leave it at that and direct you to a very good article at Relevant Magazineâ€™s site, click here for it. Iâ€™ve also included some links of relief agencies that you can go on-line with â€“ put an amount in and put it on your card. Give up some iTunes purchases, or Starbucks this week or this month and use that money to help people!
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27