Several weeks ago now I started re-reading the book, "The Whole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision. Having read the book before, I kind of knew what to expect....I knew the stories that were coming ahead and how it would pull on my heart strings and challenge me. I even knew that God would call me to a higher standard of living as I worked through read it. But I honestly didn't know the kind of impact it would have on my day to day life this time around.
In the first section of the book there's a quote from the author that I have fallen in love with (in fact, if it wasn't so long I would consider tattooing it somewhere on my body, I like it so much). It says, "Why did God make me? To love, serve and obey Him. Very simple, yet extremely profound. If we all woke up every morning asking, 'How can I love, serve, and obey God today', it might change everything...it might even change the world"! I love that! And that's exactly how I want to live my life! So for the past several weeks I've been praying that God would show me each day how I can love him...how I can serve him...how I can obey Him....and what that looks like lived out! Honestly, it's not always easy....even in the past week God has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone that I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be the same again. But then I have days like today...days so planned out and ordained by God that I realise I don't want to go back to my old way of life...the adventure of severing God is so much more fun!
You see, I have this friend and over the past week or so we've been conspiring together over different ways we could step out of the box and just let our lights shine. She's one of those sisters in Christ that just gets it and gets me...and so when our original plans for today got rained out, we decided instead to just let God lead, and we ended up on an adventure of a lifetime!
Honestly, we really didn't do anything all that special. We just got in the car, drove around....and after one closed door and a missed turn....we ended up exactly where we needed to be....the Amazing Grace food Pantry... where we had an opportunity to bless them by meeting some of their food needs. Yet as always seems to happen when you step out out to bless others, we ended up being far more blessed than anything we gave.
In fact we ended up meeting some very interesting people today, including this young man named John, a volunteer and "war vet" full of corny jokes and card tricks who ended up sharing a bit of his story with us. John doesn't have to volunteer at the food pantry, he chooses too....every day he can (which is four days a week since they are closed Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday). But John's been through a lot....several years ago he graduated from high school and didn't know what to do with his life, so he joined the army. After basic training he was given some leave time before they were going to ship him off to Korea. During that leave he was in a massive car accident, where he broke both his arms, both his legs and sustained brain damaging head trauma. He sat in a coma for 9 months....9 months! Today he can walk and talk and since he's supported by the V.A. (they "retired" him due to his injuries) he volunteers his time! He is an inspiration...and I can't help but think, the very person God had for us to meet!
It's so interesting to me to look back on this day and see how God's hand moved us. We were suppose to do something else, but it rained so we couldn't. My friend was suppose to drive, but her car battery died in the driveway so we ended up having to take my car meaning I had to drive. We thought we would would spend time at one place and had the door close on us. Then while on our way to somewhere else, not knowing where I was going, I made a wrong turn and we ended up at the food pantry. God works in mysterious ways! And when we are open to it He uses us, and blesses us, and allows us to be a part of His coming Kingdom! What a great day!