“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
Today I’m going to admit a mistake I made and how God redeemed it the very next day. This summer I was driving our oldest to be dropped off and strangers on the side of the road caught my attention. They were an elderly couple (in better shape than myself) cleaning up a huge tree that had fallen into their front yard as well as that of their neighbors. Normally, I’m oblivious but this particularly time God whispered into my spirit, “You need to go back and help them.” I had plenty of excuses of why I shouldn’t go back and help. Thursdays are my busiest work days and this particular week was one of my busiest all month; I have a four-year-old who could get run over by a car since we were carrying the branches across the street into the field, and I don’t know these people and will feel stupid showing up with my tennis shoes and gloves. Let’s face it – I’m lazy and the thought of sweating all afternoon in the hot sun didn’t appeal to me.
However, I mentioned the thought of helping (not my silent excuses) to my two youngest and they were enthusiastic. In fact, our daughter even reminded me how good it feels to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I agreed, but stated we had to go home first to put on proper shoes, get shoes and a shirt for our littlest, and grab some gloves if we were going to manhandle tree bark. I also had a few errands to run and even though God said to run them after the job was complete, I ignored His prompt, further stalling our return.
In the meantime, my daughter and I started arguing about something trivial. I can’t even remember what we were “fighting” about, but I remember sarcastically stating, “This is great. Here we’re going to be Jesus’ hands and feet, and we can’t even get along.” However, I realized maybe this was the evil one coming at me from another angle. Since stalling didn’t work and we were still going, maybe if he could get me distracted and fighting about something stupid, I would call off our mission out of embarrassment. Nope!
We pulled up to their house, got out of our car with our gloves, and after introducing myself, began moving wood. They said they were done but still thanked us for coming. I looked up and they were right. I felt awful! Not only did I procrastinate getting back after specifically hearing God tell me to help, they were thanking me for doing nothing. We ended up standing talking for a few minutes and they stated, “Out of 200 cars that passed by today, you were the only ones that stopped and offered to help.” That’s when I realized a few things.
Even our imperfect reflections of Jesus can be used to encourage others. I have no idea why God asked me to help that particular couple on that particular day. I do know, though, that He did. Next time I’m going to be quicker to obey His whispers. I also realized that when God speaks that directly to us, I need to be aware that Satan is going to speak to me as well. Whose voice do I want to listen to?
Last, I realized God gives second chances. Come back next time and I will share how He gave me a chance for a “do over.”
© Cheri Swalwell 2014