So be happy, people of Zion.
Be joyful in the Lord your God.
He is good and will give you rain.
He will send the early rains and the late rains as before.
If there is one thing we can believe in and put our hope in, it's that the Lord is good. He created us and provides all we need. From the moment of creation, He has provided the created with all it needs. Sun for the plants to grow. Grass for the animals to grow. God hasn't changed. He still provides. But one thing I think we sometimes forget is that He put us in charge of caring for the earth.
Lately, I feel like I'm being walloped by bad news. I look at the news and read about traumatic events such as kidnappings, murders, hunger, war, poverty, school violence. I see lack, dishonesty, addiction, and pain. At times it threatens to overwhelm me because it looms over me like a towering giant. If I'm not careful, I start to slide into a well of discouragement and fear instead of the well of abundant life in the Spirit.
There are at least 66 children in our school that need someone to help provide food for them on the weekends. They would go home and have nothing to eat if it weren't for some pretty special people that collect, fill, and donate bags of food for the students to carry home. That's just one small school. Three grades. There are countless more out there.
Why am I being such a debbie downer? I'm actually not trying to be. I'm trying to flip it around and be the encouraging encourager. God sends the rains. He always has. He provides His creation with all that it needs to survive and even thrive. He sent Jesus to unite us to Himself and to one another. We can make a difference every day if we are willing to carry His kingdom in us and follow His ways.
Recently I watched a video clip of Steve Harvey speaking into a young woman that apparently had fallen into sexual promiscuity. Mr. Harvey looked her straight in her beautiful eyes and told her she was worth so much more. She had value. A future. He took her in his arms like a father should and spoke identity into her. Tears streamed over her cheeks as she listened—as if she were shocked that this was so. This young woman is not the only one who needs to look at herself as worth more than a one-night stand. But Steve Harvey is just one person, and he can't tell every single girl out there. The fields are ripe for a harvest…we need more workers.
He was saying to them, “The harvest is abundant [for there are many who need to hear the good news about salvation], but the workers [those available to proclaim the message of salvation] are few. (Luke 10:2, AMP)
Mr. Harvey stepped on the platform God granted him and spoke life. He spoke life into a drowning soul, pulling her up to the surface for a breath of air. Everyone has a platform of some sort. Maybe it's just encouraging a check-out clerk at the grocery store. Maybe it's helping provide food for the needy. Maybe it's speaking to young men and women, informing them that human trafficking is real and what to look out for to avoid being sucked into that world. Maybe it's fostering or adopting an orphan, or helping a widow. There are countless ways to release the Kingdom of God on this earth. You carry the Spirit of God inside you! With power you can release His peace, His love, His joy!
Our body, be it one under Christ the head, needs to start working together. We need all parts doing their part and working together. If you feel like you are just a thumb and have less impact or less importance, think again. God created the body perfectly. He created it with purpose and intent. It really doesn't matter if you are the thumb or the knee or the shoulder or the spine. Every part is necessary and influential.
There are so many needs in our communities and there are so many reasons we want to close our eyes to them. But we need to start opening our eyes! We cannot afford to shrink in fear. We cannot afford to do nothing. We have to start living as a community and working together to bring God's Kingdom to earth. Light and love and beauty could spread like wildfire if we would begin to believe in His goodness and share our hope and resources with those around us.
He sends the rains and the rains nourish the earth. His goodness is our hope. His salvation is coming. Will we be the one that invested our talents and doubled them? Or will we be the one that buried them?
Oh,Spirit, come and fill us! Come and lead us in the way we should go. Give us power to take back what the enemy has been stealing. Give us power to make a change and take a stand. Give us strategies to see where you've planted us and how we can invest in the lives of those around us. Show us who we are and what we're meant to do. You said we should follow You, so show us where and how and when.
Author: Kerri Barfield