We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. -2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
I got a message from a friend who was struggling in a halfway house far on the other side of town. He told me he needed food.
I couldn’t go till after work, which meant rush hour traffic, not to mention not seeing my family till many hours later. But God told me I should go see him, so I did.
His wife told me that she had just left him with a ton of food just days earlier, and cautioned me against manipulation.
I’d be facing evil, in the form of addiction that had consumed and transformed my friend under its influence. As I saw it, it was an honor to face up to it with strength and grace that only God could give me.
Almost two hours after leaving work, I arrived. I brought him hot and packaged food, then talked as we ate. Many times through our talk, God showed me opportunities to speak the lessons He’s taught me.
- When he talked about trying to fix his situation, I gently let him know that the struggle to control his situation was a mirage…an illusion.
- When he worried about what his wife must be thinking, I reminded him to concentrate on strengthening himself instead of worrying.
- When he lamented his situation and his future, I told him he needed to do his very best in the moment, and let each moment play out, then do his best in that moment.
- When he told me he kept trying to tell himself things to stay focused and tune out the environment, I encouraged him to embrace his environment, stop talking to himself, and listen to the environment…and he might be surprised what messages he’d hear from it.
I gave him a printed card with Romans 8:28 on it, explaining how God uses all things and situations–all meant to happen just as they did–to build up to greater things ahead. This led me to tell him about Saul, who became Paul, and how he was inspired to pen most of the New Testament, including the Book of Romans. I told him that it didn’t matter what we have done, because He can use us to His glory according to His will.
As I was leaving, I reminded him to simply look at the opportunity to do his very best in the moment, and not try to control the future, or he’d miss out on doing his best now. And as soon as I shut my car door, I realized God wanted me to do the same. It’s a lesson He has been very patiently working on with me in this past year.
He works through people. He works through you. He works through me. And He’s got your situation, and your life, in His hands. No matter where you are now, high or low, He is with you, and is working in you and through you, to His glory. Trust, go with His flow, and see.