Monday, July 20, 2015
I live in the suburbs of a major city....its is busy and crowded. Nearer the city's edge the shops and businesses start to thin and the housing picks up, mixing car traffic with pedestrian traffic. There are lots of people on the streets walking to or from the store or school or just out for a run on the trails that meander near the main streets. I was driving home from work this week through this transition area when it came to me...every one of those people I see on the sidewalks as I drive by were made by God, He loves them, He sent His Son to die for them. I know it sounds strange...and of course I've known these facts forever but for some reason it was hitting me fresh this week....I was really seeing them...they have lives and families and problems and He loves them...every single one of them. And I have prayed for them this week...individually... as I see them on the sidewalks going to and fro...with friends or alone...pushing baby strollers or walking their dogs..I have prayed for them...that they would be blessed...that they would have their eyes opened to His love for them...that He would draw and win them to Himself.... and if I step back and look at myself...I feel rather proud of myself....yes, I am being a very good Christian, praying for complete strangers on the street and I feel rather smug....and then I wonder...why don't they listen?......how can they not hear?...how can they not see?...the Truth is all around them and even when many who do see and hear...something....why do they return again and again to their sin and bondage? Jesus is So well publicized in this country...especially in the South...the gospel is on every corner...every television channel.. How in the world can this country, this people...these specific people not know? It truly is unfathomable.
Then He reminds me...only those who have eyes to see and ears to hear can see and hear....and so I pray for that...for those random strangers on the street...that they would have eyes to see and ears to hear....and then I think...but how can they hear without a preacher? so I pray for that too...that there would be laborers for the harvest....it seems I am praying for everything to be given to these strangers...where does it end? when does their responsibility kick in??
Then I am reminded yet again that He is the Source...of ALL things...in ourselves...in our world...in our talent or education or community standing or monetary value...we have nothing and can do nothing of any eternal value.... all that we have...all that I have...all that those strangers on the street have..comes from God above...the eyes to see and the ears to hear...the very breath to breathe...and even still....we think so highly of ourselves, that if given the right setting and opportunity and pulling of heartstrings we or they can repent and turn toward this great God who is the Giver of all things ....but not so....Proverbs says that He turns the hearts of kings and directs them like a waters course....that He directs our paths....Luke says "does He not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?"
It is clear...He does the seeking...He does the calling...He does the eye & ear opening....He is the Giver of All things...for without Him we truly can do Nothing. We are all helpless and wandering... lost...just as I perceive those strangers on the wayside to be in need of revelation and conviction, of blessing and purpose...we all need Him to give us All things....He calls, He opens our eyes and ears...He is even the One who causes us to believe. He grants repentance, it is His gift to those He has chosen...In ourselves we can do nothing...hear nothing...see nothing. We are fallen, lost without hope.... Lord, thank you for seeking me, for calling me, for pursuing me...for causing me to see and hear your voice, for allowing me to turn to you, day after day...for granting me repentance. Enable us to shine Your light in the darkness ... keep us against that day...for we are powerless to keep ourselves.
Give us what it takes to Stay