Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
I have been reborn...I have taken Jesus into my heart...been baptized...buried in the water and risen out of the water... a new man (woman) in Christ Jesus...I live by faith....sometimes....and sometimes not....
See ....in so many ways I walk by faith...North First St. is a great example of me walking by faith. Every week in faith... we go down to North First without knowing if we will have enough volunteers or enough food...and for the last 67 weeks, we have had enough food, clothes, and volunteers. We have had the blankets when we needed them and a tent or two right at the right time. We have seen people come and people go...knowing that the Lord is working at all levels through people's lives.
So where is the problem???...Tomorrow we head back to work after a wonderful Spring Break. It has been so nice to not be under the stress of a normal work week. So like all nights before we go back, I feel nervous and anxious because I don't know if I can keep up with the schedule that is needed to do the job well. Anyone who has a job that is too crammed and over scheduled to do it well can probably relate. What I do know is that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.....and his promises never change. God promises to never leave us or forsake us.... He gives us the strength to get through the things we need to get through...and He gives us wisdom...So this time I am going to try and approach it differently. I am going to pray for wisdom to know how to balance my stress better during the work week and lean on God a little more and myself a little less. It is arrogant of me to carry things myself and not let my faith and relationship with God guide me.
This week Arthur- one of our many friends on North First St. said it well. He had asked for a trailer to hook on the back of his bike so we prayed that God would supply it. In the back of my mind, I didn't think that we would get one (Oh ye of little faith). But despite my lack of faith... God brought us a bike trailer...I pulled into the driveway a couple days ago and there it was....I shared the story with Arthur this morning and in his half drunken state...he called me on it. He said, "You say that your believe and you read your bible...but you are so surprised when He does." "Jesus Christ is Lord!" he exclaimed as he turned to work his way down the rest of the food line. Arthur was drunk...but he was also right. I was in Awe of how Jesus provided...but I was also surprised. My faith does have a long way to grow...but God never gives up on us. Grow me dear Jesus....Give me ears to hear, eyes to see, and wisdom to walk the walk that You have for me.
That is what happened to me during this past week on North First...but I would like to also share some other things that happened today on North First. Today we had another volunteer come to help us. He had a wonderful testimony of how he has spent the last 7 years in prison. He did his time and received Christ during his term. He now is out, has a job, and wants to give back to the community. God does change people....He does give 2nd chances...3rd chances...as many chances as we need. See He does not love us because of what we have or have not done...He loves us because He created us...He loves us as today as He ever will....It is up to us to accept that love and believe in the relationship that begins upon that acceptance.
Chris came out today to get some food and dry clothes....she is an addict and a friend. I hadn't seen her for about 2 or 3 months so it was nice to see that she was o.k. It rained so hard last night that a lot of her things were wet so I asked her what she needed. She told me that she could really use a sleeping bag or some blankets. When I asked her where she was staying....she described where the tree was that she sleeps under......I got a sick feeling in my stomach thinking of her spending her nights under a tree, but I can't change it for Chris...I can't give her the strength to kick her addiction...I can't make it better for her...but I know that God can, so I pray that Chris will find the courage to call out to Jesus for help.
My final story today is beautiful...it is about a friend named Joel. Joel came through the food line and asked if he could talk to Keith. Joel asked Keith if he would pray for him to get better. He has been feeling sick and wanted prayer as well as communion. In Joel's broken English he told Keith that he knows "the power of the blood"....the power of the blood of Jesus. Despite a language barrier of sorts...Joel communicated with Keith quite well...They asked the Lord for healing and accepted the body and blood of communion together. What a beautiful act of faith....I continue to learn and grow so much as we step out in faith to feed and clothe a group of people who have effected my life in such a positive way.
Thank You Jesus for Your continual love....In faith..I ask that You will follow me through the week...helping me to balance and juggle all that it brings...with peace and joy... In Jesus' Holy Name... Amen! :0)