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The evening after I dropped off 3 diet cokes and cookies to my friend, a cloud of discouragement and guilt rolled in as quickly as a summer thunderstorm. The storm’s winds dissipated the joy I experienced from reaching out to help a friend in need, and I began to doubt why I had thought that small act would make a difference.
The lies darted at me like lightning.
“Who do you think you are?”
“There are so many starving kids and you think coke and cookies was a good idea?”
“You could have spent that $5 so much better, something that would have made a bigger difference.”
Then the big crack of lightning struck. “The world is so full of hurt. You can’t make a difference.”
That one got my attention. I recognized that voice. It was the enemy. The father of lies.
I think sometimes we forget that Satan lies to us. The lies come disguised as our own thoughts, or worse, we think it’s God’s voice. But Satan is the master of lies, and one of his schemes is to get us to think it’s really God talking.
Remember the scene in the opening of the Bible, where he twists what God said to Adam and Eve?
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil
He’s crafty. He takes what is meant for our good and twists it into something horribly wrong. He wants us to believe that God doesn’t want what’s best for us. That we mean nothing to Him. That it doesn’t matter what we do; it’s never good enough.
I wasn’t going to let him steal my joy.
So I answered. With truth.
“Who do I think I am? I know that I’m a child of God, rescued by Jesus, made whole and worthy because of His love.”
“Yeah, it may have been a little thing. But it was a little thing within my reach. I’ll do the big things too. But today, God just asked this small thing of me. And I obeyed.”
“You’re right. I can’t make a difference in this world of hurt. But Jesus can. And I’m committed to helping Him.”
God doesn’t ask us to change the entire world. He just asks us to meet the needs within our reach – with the gifts, talents, and resources He’s given us. When He makes us aware of something, we get the privilege of assisting Him in what He is already doing. If we would all just meet the needs within our reach, imagine what the world could look like.
One of the best ways I’ve found to combat the lies is to keep moving forward. To keep obeying. So a couple days later when I heard another good friend, whose husband was out of town, was battling the flu (she and 2 of her 3 kids), I whipped up a batch of my go-to-easy-t0-make comforting chicken noodle soup. Then I remembered there was a Starbucks inside a Target close to her house and I had a buy-1-get-1-free coupon. I headed across town asking God to bless the trip and bring encouragement to my friend.
I walked into the Target, on a side of town I hardly ever visit, and immediately saw a woman I know and hadn’t seen in awhile. I caught up with her and encouraged her to come back to our writer’s group and let her know how much I had missed her. Then I saw another woman I know walking into the store. Seriously, I don’t think I had ever been inside this store before and there were 2 women I hadn’t seen in months! After catching up with these friends, I called my sick friend and told her I “happened” to be on her end of town and “happened” to have a B1G1 coupon for Starbucks and asked what she wanted.
I dropped off my love to her house and when I left, she and her kids were giggling and laughing. Just a little hope and help to make it through one more day.
Just a little change of perspective for me. My little gifts can be part of the bigger picture of God’s work.
Susie Finkbeiner says
And those small gifts do make a big deal to others. And it spurs us on to good works.
Your friendship makes a big difference in this world for Jesus. 🙂
Amelia–I get those attacks often, too. And scripture is the only way to combat them–that’s what Jesus did when Satan attacked him in the desert, so that’s what I do when I’m feeling assuaged as well. I pray that I’ll be as faithful as you have been/are/will continue to be to minister to others in need. A big part of this story is the people who are struggling letting others know where they’re at–you’ve got to tear down that “everything’s perfect” facade and let people know when you need help, and sometimes that’s harder than the swooping in with soup and cookies part, but that’s the way God intended family, community, and the church to function. Great job doing your part–I’ll be praying affirming scripture for you against these attacks that you’ll always turn to truth and God’s word as soon as they begin to assail you. And thanks for being so transparent–not an easy topic to share.
Jessie Heninger says
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that remind us of the love of Jesus. Believe me I’ve had those days when all I needed was the right words and a hug. Keep up the good “team work”.
Jenna – This is a topic I address in the book. It was really hard for me to admit that I didn’t have it all together and needed help. But when I finally got to the point where I was honest with a few people, it completely revolutionized how I did life with others.
So incredibly true…I have listened to the same likes…while considering taking food to an elderly neighbor, or a mom from church— silly things like “you don’t have time for this”, “You have your own family to take care of”, “You’re cooking is not very good…what if they think the food is gross!”
I’ve been trying to remind myself that it IS these little things that matter…it is the little things God calls us too regularly!
LOVE this, Amelia! What a good reminder! The little things do mean so much!
OH Lisa – I get the same messages in my head about my cooking and my food…yeah. Keep pressing forward!!