“Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.” Psalm 66:5
Every person that we encounter in this life has a story. Some are stories of hope and support and love. Their lives have been protected or perhaps parents have worked extremely hard to keep their families together and to provide. Maybe they’ve had a legacy of faith and of determination that “as for (them) and (their) house (they) will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Some stories, however, are stories of hardships and difficulties and fear. Maybe a parent left or even was taken through some illness or accident. Sometimes spouses lose their jobs and just could not face the guilt of their inability to provide. Perhaps they had parents that had their hands and hearts closed to God and they do not know what it means to have hope in Someone who holds their world in His hands, and so they live this life of hardship with little hope that God holds something greater for them through Christ.
Each person responds in different ways to their own stories and how they are written out. Some live in gratitude in celebration of or in spite of the hand they’ve been dealt. Some live in constant anger and fear and they do not know how to overcome it. Some have tears and are so broken that they just can’t speak and they carry so much shame that they feel that there will never be a moment of redemption in their futures so they ask the question, “Why press on?”. Some see hardships as a bump in the road that will pass soon and there’s hope for a brighter tomorrow.
One thing I’ve noticed though is that all stories share one thing in common… each one is crying out for authentic and honest love and a peace that passes all understanding. There’s no room for being fake or using church words that don’t make sense to their lives. There’s not one person that isn’t searching for honesty and hope through a handshake, a smile, a hug or a word kindly spoken. No matter how they come across as they live out their stories, I have come to realize that no encounter with another life is a coincidence and that encounter might be my only chance to share Christ.
As another sinful human being who has many flaws, imperfections and insecurities the only encouragement that I have to offer has one focus and yet it’s two fold:
1. My testimony of God’s faithfulness in my life
2. God’s Promises
There are so many stories, but there is ONE Holy and matchless God who is pursuing them and He can rewrite those stories with just a touch of the hem of His robe.
I have been on one mission trip to Africa. For twelve days I saw the results of oppression and idol worship and poverty in a 3rd World Country.
I live in the United States.
Day after day I see the results of idol worship through materialism, homelessness and poverty and people who have made choices (or choices have been made for them) that are effecting their lives in some way that they just didn’t anticipate.
There is a HUGE mission field right here. I pray that my story is one of a life lived pointing people to the nail scarred hands that He invites us to touch in a very real and personal way and that people see that His promises are real and that His life was spent on their behalf.
There definitely is more to this story.