Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Be Careful What You Ask For....

Sometimes I get really bold. It doesn't happen nearly enough. but sometimes I get bold. When I get bold I am more willing to ask for things.  Even when it comes to God.

Let me give you some background. Last Tuesday our staff watched a video of a speaker at a conference. This speaker was talking about how Christians needed to be a people of blessing to others. In other words, everyday we should live to bless others lives. That's a good thing right. I mean it's always good when people attempt to make my day better by praying for me or helping me in some way. So after watching the video I walked into my office and said this simple prayer, "God, let me a blessing to the people around me."  That's it. No big words. No churchy terms. Just, "let me be a blessing to people around me."

I think God probably chuckles to Himself when we pray things like this.

God loves to answer "yes" to that prayer.

In December, I had gone to buy some bagels for our Sunday School class.  As a 'holiday' gift the bagel place included a $5 gift card for any future use. When you have two kids and one income gift cards are like gold! Needless to say, I was exited.

But then I lost the card....until last Wednesday, the day after my prayer.  Some people would call that coincidence.  I call it God.  
Have you ever put on a pair of jeans and found a dollar in the pocket?  It was that awesome except extra awesomeness because it was free bagels. (everyone knows that bagels increase the awesomeness scale by 37)

So off I head to the bagel place with my $5 gift card in hand. It's a glorious day and it will be a glorious lunch. What will I get?  Will it include cream cheese?  Can I get a Cherry Coke? (awesomeness scale is through the roof) There's a little bounce in my step. I park my car and head towards bagel heaven....

and that's when I see them. Two homeless guys about 20 feet apart walking in my direction. As a pastor I'm kind of ashamed to say it but when I see a homeless person my first though isn't, "hey I bet that guy is hungry". It's more like, "when he asks me for money what am I going to tell him?"

I kept walking hoping that perhaps they wouldn't approach me. The first guy gets close to me and.....keeps walking. *whew*.   I didn't have to give my, "I'm sorry I don't have any money" speech. 

As I was thinking about this, the second guy calls out to me. In a scraggly and broken voice he asks me if I had any change to spare. The truth is that I didn't. I don't use cash that often anymore so I don't usually have change in my pockets. I started to give my "no money" speech when I heard from God. 

Not audibly. That probably would have made me wet myself and then there would an awkward time for the homeless guy who wanted some change but instead got a guy with no bladder control. 

But I heard from God. The next thought in my head was, "Dude, you just asked me yesterday to give you someone to bless. Here you go!"  (I think God says Dude in an affectionate way)

I started to debate God there because the truth was that I didn't have any change to give the man. But when I reached in to my pocket to prove to God that there was no jingling of coins my hands gripped the gift card. Yep $5 of God given blessing. 

"I can't give you any change but I can buy you something to eat" is what I heard coming out of my mouth. I didn't think through it. It just happened. 

"Oh, can I get a bagel with Philadelphia Cream Cheese?"  He apparently knew of the Bagel Awesomeness scale. 
I got him his bagel with cream cheese and gave it to him. His trembling hands took them from me and he sat down and ate his new lunch. 
God loves it when we bless other people. In fact Jesus said that people would know that we follow Him by the love that we show to others.  So if you ever want to be bold. Ask God to put someone in your life that you can bless. Then just open your eyes and wait for it. 
It's amazing to be a part of what God is doing in the world around us.  If you really want to live an awesome life (even without bagels) make it a point to bless the people around you. 

Are there any times in your life that you got to bless someone unexpectedly?  
(this is the part where you drop a comment below!)


1 comment:

  1. I'm so often that person that just smiles and moves on when there's a homeless person asking for money. But one day I felt really convicted to give something to the man on the corner. His sign said that he was hungry. I had a fresh loaf of homemade bread in my car that I was bringing to a friends house to eat with dinner. It was all warm and yummy. The guys sign said that he was hungry... so I handed over my homemade bread. The homeless man actually cried when he opened the foil and smelled it. He looked up to heaven and thanked God, then dug into the loaf with his hands. It was so touching that I cried too. Dinner was still good without bread that night. My friend didn't mind that I had given away our bread when she heard the story and it was so worth it to be a blessing to someone else. I'm ashamed to admit that that's not my normal reaction when I have the chance to be a blessing.