One of the recent struggles of my life has been a deep desire to give to others. This desire has grown in me and occupied my constant focus and has left me feeling like a failure much of the time. At one point, I remember saying to someone if my husband and I could just get on our feet financially, then we would be able to turn around and give back to others. That person responded to me that I was one of the most giving people she knew. That response landed on deaf ears, because it didn’t make sense to me at the time. My husband and I have spent most of our marriage having financial difficulties and it left me feeling useless. The enemy had planted the lie in my heart that because I didn’t have money to give to those in need that there was nothing I could give. That lie was planted so deeply in my heart that it rendered me unable to see past what we didn’t have to what we did have.
The only way that the spell could be broken was by reaching out to others less fortunate than myself. No matter how bad we think we have it there is always someone who has less than we do and as I began reaching out, God began to change my heart. One of the first opportunities that was presented to me was to serve at LAHIA. LAHIA (Love and Hope In Action) is a local ministry that reaches out to the homeless that are all around us. Our pastor invited us to come as a group and help serve the meal and just reach out to these people from all walks of life who had become homeless for various reasons. This experience gave me new hope, because these people were so grateful to be welcomed in and treated like they mattered for a day. It was the realization that I could make a difference in the world today, regardless of my financial situation and that shifted my whole perspective.
Another shift that I’ve experienced was while watching the movie “Machine Gun Preacher”. There was a point in the movie that the man who had stepped out and made such a dramatic difference in the lives of so many children was sitting in a pit of despair over not being able to do enough. He sat there with a gun ready to end his life and there was a knock at his door. The little boy at the door was someone who would seemingly have no hope to offer anyone. He had been forced to kill his mother or face losing his and his brother’s life. He had been through one of the most horrific experiences that most of can ever imagine going through and he was able to offer hope with his words. He told the man ” if we let hate consume us than the enemy has won”. That’s the key to living out our life in victory. We can choose how we react to our circumstances and no one can take that away from us.
We get to choose to look at the gifts and talents we’ve been given and use them for good or sit on them and live in bitterness searching and longing for all those things we don’t have. We can choose to wait for “someday” or we can get off our butt and do what we can do today. It’s always our choice and each day we can choose differently. When we choose to focus on others, we can not only transform their lives but our own as well.
What can you give today?