Today’s Coffee of Choice: Dunkin’ Donuts Cinnamon Spice (because when I sip it, I have an easier time sharing the stories in my life)
Today’s Scripture: By faith Enoch was taken away so he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away. For prior to his removal he was approved, since he had pleased God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. – Hebrews 11:5-6
I think we’ve all had one of those days when we just want to go somewhere different from where we are. Yesterday fell into that category for me. I had a large share of stress coming at me from several different angles, and my natural response to stress tends to be to run like my life depends on it. Though I know fleeing is not the answer, I can’t help but feel a bit envious of Enoch in times like that. I’ve learned a trick to help me combat the frustration meant to distract me from my daily purpose on this earth when these days happen, however. I’ve learned to remember those times when God has proved His existence and love to me beyond a shadow of a doubt.
His name was Devon. Or Darren. Or Dominic. It’s been so long ago, and I’m horrible at recalling names. Anyway, after I was threatened during an outreach in inner-city D.C., he was one of the kids plopped right into my path. I was still in the same part of D.C. where the threat occurred. I had continued to say “yes” to what God wanted of me that day, despite what had just happened. My purpose in the group I was with was to reach out to the kids in a volatile part of the city and encourage them to a safer place and healthier alternative to spending their free time.
D was off by himself looking like his dog had just died. I’ve always been a sucker for kids who have the weight of the world’s sadness on their shoulders. I walked over.
That was all it took. D wanted to talk. We went back and forth. He shared about his life, and I shared about the new one in Christ I had recently found.
“That sounds great!” he said. “I want that. I need that.” His adolescent eyes were beginning to show some hope.
Some people have a formula when this type of thing happens. I don’t. I just share the truth of Christ’s intervention in my own life and encourage people to talk to God about having the same type of friendship I’ve found with him on their own. Sometimes I’m even privileged enough to see them converse with the creator of the universe– like this day.
Have you ever seen someone’s face go from carrying all the stress and weight in the world to shining with a joy you know can only be from Heaven? I have. It’s a gift when I’ve seen it. That day, D’s face radiated.
I have to do something more, I thought. He has so much chaos around him. I then quietly prayed in my mind: Lord, what else would you have me do? I want to help this boy more.
In the quietness of my heart I felt a whisper: Give him your Bible.
In my backpack that day, I was carrying the Bible I had devoured after becoming a Christian. It was like a security blanket to me at the time, providing me with something to hold on to when afraid or sad. It meant a lot to me.
Are you sure, Lord?
I must confess I haven’t thought about this moment in years. Lately, I’ve been leading a group of women through Lysa TerKeurst’s book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, and in the first chapter of the book Lysa shares about a time when she gave her Bible away to reap a tremendous reward. After reading about her experience, the memory of this circumstance came flooding back to me.
I only hesitated a moment, and then I gave my very first real Bible away while pointing out the highlighted verses and sharing a few of the reasons why I highlighted them. I told the boy this was his sword–that he could slay dragons with the words and truths found in it. And then I left.
I trusted God would take care of D. I trusted God would get him plugged in with a safe group of people, just like he had with me when I came running into His arms.
I don’t know what happened to D. I don’t know what my “yes” in that moment led to. It’s okay. I have the memory of seeing a life changed, and I have the reassurance that a God who has the power to evade death, whether through the story of Enoch found in Genesis 5:21-24 or the testimony of Christ’s sacrifice, took care of this young life. I have the faith that my yes helped change the course of a young man’s life, and I have the confidence that someday I’ll learn what kind of impact his life on this earth had.
Until then, I’ll keep saying yes.