Today I will be sharing a story from my first year of college. I hope that this story will brighten your days and encourage you that God is at work in the world. While I may not have every detail of this story exactly correct, I will do my best to recount it as best as I remember it.
Another young lady who attended my university and I rode to church with a mutual friend who also attended our university. Since our mutual friend wanted to head back to the campus earlier than we did, she connected us with a young man who also attended our university and who was planning to stay at church longer. He agreed to drive us back to the university.
As we were driving along, the young man who was driving noticed a middle-aged man hitchhiking at the side of the road. He said something like, “I always pick up hitchhikers. Would you mind if I picked him up?” To be honest, I was a bit frightened by the thought of picking him up, but I agreed to allow the young man who was driving the car to pick him up. I moved into the back seat and sat beside the other young lady, and the young man pulled over and invited our new guest into the car. He sat in the passenger seat where I had been sitting.
The young man who was driving asked our new passenger if he had anything on him that could get us in trouble, and he said that he didn’t. After this matter was settled, we were on the road again. It turns out that the man who was riding with us was a Christian. As I recall, he was a positive, cheerful person, and as we drove he shared with us how God had been taking care of him throughout his hitchhiking journey.
Then the young man who was driving all of us did something that was a true example of genuine, Christ-like Christianity. He asked the man he had picked up if he needed something to eat. It turned out that he did. The young man then told the man he had picked up that he was going to drop the other young lady and me off at the university where we all attended school, and then he would take him to get something to eat. Furthermore, the young man ended up offering to buy him a bus ticket to his destination! I have never forgotten this exhibition of genuine, Christian care.
We can’t judge a book by its cover. We do live in an evil world, and because of this, it is easy to become overly cynical and self-protective.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12 (KJV)
However, even though we do live in an evil world, there is still goodness in the world. If we allow God to continually heal our wounds, to help us to be wise and discerning, yet generous in our assessments of others, and to keep our hearts tender, we may find that God will bring us in contact with people who we would normally avoid, but who can actually be a blessing to us, and we to them. This is the experience that I desire and I hope that you desire this experience as well.
Jesus Himself was homeless while He was on earth. Here is what He said about His own living situation:
“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Luke 9:58 (KJV)
Jesus also said:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:34-40 (KJV)
The people that we may scorn the most are still God’s children. God cares about them deeply and so should we. My appeal to myself and my appeal to you as well is this: Let us ask God to help us to be wise (because we do live in an evil and dangerous world) and yet compassionate and tenderhearted so that we won’t miss out on opportunities to minister to Him through ministering to whoever God may lead us to on this earth. Let us ask God to help us to love all people as He does.
Please help us, dear Jesus. We can’t be like You without Your help. Please help all who are willing to be made like You and used by You to be made like You and used by You.
We thank You that You will do this because You have promised to answer our prayers whenever we ask for things that are according to Your will. (I John 5:14)
In Jesus’ Name Amen
Blessings and courage to all. 🙂