June 22, 2017
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8. Have you ever seen someone who needs help but for one reason or another you just didn’t do anything? Maybe you’ve seen a woman with two kids in the car parked on the side of the road with a flat tire. Did you offer to help or did you think the next guy will stop and help her? Maybe s there’s man sitting in the pew ahead of you who needs someone to mow his lawn until his broken leg heals, but you have other plans and you think he can pay someone to help him. Many people need help but it seems as if there are few people willing to say to God “ Here am I; send me.“. If you’re a Christian you should listen for the urging of the Holy Spirit and then willingly help when you can. Everyone needs help from time to time and if you listen carefully for the still small voice of the Lord, you just might be the answer to someone’s prayer.
“O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth…For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” Isaiah 25:1 & 4. Not long ago, the little town near to me was hit by a bad storm. Some say it was a tornado and others say it was straight winds with spiral down drafts. Whatever name is put to it, there was much property damage. My daughter and I were in town when the tornado sirens went off and we were blessed to be safe through the wind, rain, and hail. When it was over and we were able to travel the eight miles to our home, we were very thankful that although golf ball sized hail was reported not far from us, our house was not damaged. After a bit we decided to go back to town to see how bad the damage had been. The first thing we noticed was that there was no electricity. Although it was daylight it was eerie to see all the businesses dark and none were open. As we drove around we marveled at how large trees had fallen but most had just missed a house or car. A few homes had a tree or branches across the roof and the First Baptist Church had their gym fold in half and most of the roof on their entire building was gone, but this storm could have done much more damage. Thank God there were no injuries or deaths.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9. As we drove we wondered how long the electricity would be off and stores reopened. Then I remembered the little ice cream shop. Of all the businesses in town, the inventory of Scoop’s Ice Cream would all melt away without electricity. The storm happened on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and the owners had stocked up on extra ice cream because of the holiday. The man and wife who own the shop are a lovely Christian couple who aren’t ashamed of their faith. Christian music plays in the shop and Scripture adorns their walls: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24. God placed it on my heart to stop and see if we could help. My thought was to take some of their ice cream home to my freezer and at least save some of it. That’s when God took over. I was willing to help a fellow Christian and God led the way. Since the electricity had been off for a while the ice cream was softening and the eight miles to my house would have been too far for it to be out of the freezer. Then I remembered that I have a generator. Would it help? My daughter (Mandi), the owner (Dave), and two of the workers went to get the generator and try. As chance would have it (chance or the providence of God? I say God), Mandi had just filled our 5 gallon gas can so she could mow the lawn. This was a blessing since the gas stations were all closed. When they got back with the generator we all had great expectations, but when Dave pulled the starter cord it wouldn’t start. The generator had been sitting unused for five years, so it just didn’t want to start. He pulled, and pulled, and pulled some more. He adjusted knobs and sprayed some WD-40 on it, but it just couldn’t get going.
“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed: but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.” Luke 8:16. The sun went down and it was getting dark, so Dave brought out a lantern. This light shining in the darkness was a beacon to a couple of young men driving by. They saw the light and came to see if Dave and Shelly needed help. These young men were more than willing to do what they could. They pulled the cord, fiddled with the knobs, but still it wouldn’t start. Then, another man driving by saw the light and came to see if he could help and he parked so his headlights would shine exactly where they were the most help. This was fast becoming an all out effort to help Dave and Shelly. The man who came last had some spray that was exactly what was needed to loosen the sluggish parts and allow the motor to start running. Praise God! The generator started and Dave quickly hooked it up to a freezer.
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach to gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15. The next morning (Sunday), most people were surveying the damage to their property and cleaning up debris. I attend worship outside of town and our pastor and his wife live 30 miles away in another town. That morning they came with bottles of water, urns of coffee, bagels, and cream cheese. He said “Today we aren’t going to church, we are being the church”. Sundayschool time was spent driving around the streets and handing out food and water where needed. Our last stop was at Scoop’s Ice Cream shop where a very tired but happy Dave and Shelly, were still running the generator. They had spent the rest of the night hooking the generator on one freezer then moving it to the next. This was the only business in town that didn’t lose any food. A few hours later the electricity came back on and customers were lined up wanting for ice cream. Dave and Shelly were ready.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. It’s a privilege for God to allow us to be a part of His care for His children. As I reflect back on that day I smile and feel real joy because of the part I played in helping fellow Christians in need. God used me for His glory, but I was one small spoke in a much larger wheel. My generator would have been useless without the gas Mandi had bought. The men who saw the light willingly came to help and without them the generator and gas would have done nothing. Each and every Christian is given an opportunity to serve God by serving others. When you see someone in need, do what you can to help. One day it could be you who is in great need and God will whisper to someone to come to your aid. Will they listen or will they ignore God’s voice and assume someone else will help?
God’s work is accomplished by those who are willing to help. Are you willing? Are you listening for the Holy Spirit to direct you? “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.