“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
Last week my son had senior pictures taken in downtown Hickory. Asking for help, a homeless man approached. “My girlfriend is two months pregnant …” he began. The photographer kindly gave him $5 and off he went. Until later. While we snapped photos on another street, the man’s girlfriend marched toward us with him trailing behind. She asked for money, explaining she was two months pregnant and hadn’t eaten for two days. She seemed totally unaware that the photographer had just given money to her boyfriend. The couple strode past and commenced arguing. One yelling and accusing, the other stomping, they crossed our path yet again. “He’s trying to hit me!” she cried. Then suddenly–like nothing had happened–they sat together on a staircase and she smoked. Through this entire drama, I was speechlessly unsure of what to do.
The Gosnell trial: the murder of unborn and born children. Homosexual, bisexual, and transgender practices. Addictions. Domestic violence. The modern-day slave trade and sex trafficking. Rape, incest, and child abuse. I’m unsure of what to do.
Loving Father in heaven, How in the world can I make a difference? There’s no way to significantly impact everyone affected by these various issues. Time spent laboring for one cause limits available time for another. Even when You put people directly in my path, I usually don’t know what to do. I desperately desire to live wisely for Your purposes–compassionately reaching out and helping the hurting. I long to discard the meaningless in exchange for the meaningful–the eternal. I want to follow You … to be a fisher of men. But how?
We live in a sin-infested world. News headlines and harsh realities confirm this truth. We don’t have to look far for examples. We can just look in the mirror. Some Christians commit some of the sins listed above–not to mention sins we all struggle with like jealousy, pride, bitterness, greed, gluttony, idolatry, etc. All of us are broken. In fact, the only difference between a Christian and non-Christian who has committed what we might consider horrendous sin is the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Therein lies our secret weapon. The Gospel–the Person and work of Jesus Christ–is the only complete answer to the problems we see … and don’t see. He has saved us and faithfully sanctifies us. Surely He will do the same for others.
While Jesus lived on earth, He encountered the issues we face. Yet He maintained the peace and calm of One who always knew exactly what to do. He didn’t solve every crisis, but He did diligently reveal His Father’s heart. Through actions and words, Jesus showed people who God is. He healed bodies, forgave sins, proclaimed peace, and imparted hope. He did all of this by daily going where His Father sent Him and doing the deeds His Father placed before Him.
As I struggle through this quandary of how to really make a difference for Christ, God is gently reminding me to Simply. Follow. Him. Every moment of every day for the rest of my life. As I go where His Spirit leads and accomplish the work He assigns, HE will reveal Himself through my actions and words. Phhew! What a relief! I’m not in control–He is.
Despite the travesties, terrors, and trials of this world, we as Christians can take heart knowing that “…God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).
The next time a situation stuns and silences me, I yearn to somehow utter Jesus’ name. HE is the message of hope–the answer–we as Christians carry. Nothing and no one can stop Him. Though we might feel powerless against abounding evil, the enemy cowers at the mention of Christ’s name.
Christians have something–no, Someone–whom non-Christians don’t: the Lord Jesus Christ. HE is our secret weapon … whom we should not keep a secret.