Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Shameful Confession~Day 30 {Make. It. Count.}

God has given each of us the privilege of being His hands and feet to those in need around us. Just open your eyes and you will see opportunity for giving and sharing everywhere you look. I have always been keenly aware of these opportunities, yet shamefully, I must admit, I have usually turned my face to these calls for help and avoided them altogether.

No, that's not exactly true.

Whenever I've been given the honor of helping someone in need of food, clothing or money, I have always been more than willing to share what God has blessed me with. This kind of giving is easy. It's not hard to drop off a box of food, or write out a check. I guess the type of giving I'm referring to is the kind that requires giving of yourself.

For the past six months or so, my neighbor has been courageously fighting a battle with cancer. I know this not because I have spoken to her, but because her husband has been sharing her struggle with my husband during chats over the fence that separates our yard from theirs. Knowing she has been facing this, you would think I would be doing whatever I could to help her, right? Wrong! I have instead willfully chosen to turn my face to her and her obvious need.
Day after day, I remain silent, doing absolutely nothing to help her.

Why?

It's simple.

Fear.

Fear of invading her privacy.
Fear of saying or doing something wrong.
Fear of making her uncomfortable.
Simply put.....fear of making her situation worse and not better.

I rationalize my total complacency to her need by convincing myself she would be much better off without me. And, believe it or not......I actual believe this to be true.

So, I stay away.

More than ten years ago, my mother in law was fighting her own battle with cancer. Her eyes were growing dim and her strength all but gone. While her family was in the kitchen sharing in a meal, I was sitting at her side. Feeling so incompetent to be in this position, it wasn't a place I would have chosen to be. Yet, God placed me there for this moment in time.

As I gazed upon her frail body, lying there in her bed, I noticed her neck, which appeared to be in an awkward position.

"Are you OK?" I asked. "You don't look very comfortable. Would you like me to try and adjust your pillow so you can rest your head more comfortably?"

With all the energy she could muster up, she nodded her head "yes".

Immediately, fear flooded my entire being.
What am I going to do?
How can I possibly move her without hurting her?
If only someone else was here with me. I don't know what to do.

With a whirlwind of thoughts, doubts and fears racing through my mind, I leaned over this precious woman, gingerly placing my hand under her head. As I tried to figure out how best to reposition her on her pillow, she reached out with her own hand, placing it firmly on my shoulder. Then, using what little strength she had, she said slowly and deliberately, "DON'T BE AFRAID".

I lifted her head, readjusted her pillow, and gently laid her head back down once again. She looked up at me and smiled. Those three words, DON'T BE AFRAID, were the last words she spoke to me. Two days later, she passed away.

I have carried those words in my heart ever since. Dying words meant to speak life. Yet, unfortunately, I have allowed these words and the power they bring to lie dormant in my heart. Ten years later, I am still choosing instead, to listen to the lies of Satan. Lies that only serve to imprison me in fear and render be totally useless as God's hands and feet to those around me. My neighbor needs me, and I am not there for her.


And that is my whole point in writing this.

I want to be used by God no matter HOW he chooses to use me.

Be it lending a dollar or lending my heart.

Until I am willing to give of myself, I will never be able to live up to the true potential of my calling -to serve my fellowman.

This giving of myself will most likely not be easy and will most likely make me extremely uncomfortable, but then again....it's not about ME, right?! It's about forgetting all about me so I can instead focus fully on the one in need.



{Photo Credit}
It's also about forgetting my obvious incompetence and instead, focusing on the Lord, who IS able. He is able to do all I could ever thing or imagine and then some!!! I know I am not able to meet the needs of others.....but the great I AM certainly is! All I need to do is surrender to my need for Christ to work in and through me, and He in turn, will be faithful to use me to meet the needs he brings before me.

I love 2 Corinthians 4:7 -

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

No, it's not about easy and it's not about us.

It's about surrender.
Surrender to all that is holding me back,
and possibly holding you back, too.

Be it our pride,
our selfishness,
our laziness or our fear.

All are simply tools of Satan to keep you and I turning our heads, and walking away.

It's about surrendering.
It's about trusting.

It's about time!

I've wasted so many God-given opportunities to serve. 
I've turned down countless God-issued invitations to help.
I've skipped over and around God-designed moments
to be His hands,
to show His love,
to Make. It. Count.

I don't want to waste one more second.

Do you?

It's time to Make. It. Count.






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2 comments:

  1. I always feel drawn to help, but totally paralyzed by not knowing the 'right' thing to say or do. I'm learning that power is in the just showing up. That's what I'd want someone to do for me, just come sit beside me and breathe. I hope if you choose to reach out to your neighbor it is a good experience.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow. This is a battle I am sure we all face. I know I do.

    ReplyDelete

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