Updated: Feb 13
I really could have been bitter, but He wouldn’t let me to in that moment. So my heart was softened when the family of 5 walked up to my car and asked for their dinner that night.
I was on my way to a football game of a friend, whose son played on the little league team. And, running late but hungry, I stopped at a fast food restaurant and got something to eat. As I was pulling out, trying to cross three lanes of gridlocked traffic, I waited for the road to clear up. Then a guy walked in front of my car in the cross walk. So I stopped and let him pass. Then I noticed another family about to walk, so I stopped again. But the father came to my window and said:
“Excuse me, I was wondering if you can help us? It can be anything. It don’t even have to be money, but just something to eat around here. Can you please help?”
Not only I was shocked that he didn’t ask for money, but the fact that he was so polite, and respectful to ask for something to eat. I told him if they can walk to Burger King, I’ll meet them there. So I had to back up (mind you about 3 or 4 cars behind me), turn around and help the family in need. We entered and I told them “Get whatever you want.” He said thank you, their family ordered what they wanted, and the cashier said “That’ll be $28.98.” I reached up and told her “I got this one.”
She told me, “Well that is nice of you.” I smiled, told the family God bless, and gave the lady the last 2 dollars I had in my wallet. I walked out.
As I got to my car, I sat there for a minute (still in a rush though) and prayed to God: Lord, thank you for allowing me to be a blessing. I just prayed on the way here I want Your light to shine through me to other people. I want people to experience Your goodness through me. Even out of this broken place I am in, I thank you that even though I could have been bitter towards them, I wasn’t. Here I am crying about how much I am hurt and in despair, and this family don’t even know when their next meal is! I appreciate You putting me in the exact timing to meet their needs. I’m grateful that I can still be a blessing in a broken place. I then hurried along to the game.
And even to this day writing this, I am amazed how small a gesture can have a great impact on my life. The old me, the old man, would have been like NOPE! I ain’t got nothing for you! But that would have came out of bitterness, resentment, anger and hurt. But immediately, in that moment, what someone had done to me was overshadowed by meeting the need of someone. My problem was insignificant compare to theirs. My little temper tantrum was depleted by their hunger for their next meal.
“You want to make the enemy mad? Do something good!” Joyce Meyer was head on with this one. The enemy not only wants to steal our happiness and joy, what would make him more delighted is for us to continually be miserable and selfish. Treat others bad, since you were treated bad. However, in that moment, I felt the need to do good! I got my mind off myself, and focused on real importance: other people. 1 Timothy 6:18 says, “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.”
I was so blessed in that moment of meeting the need of someone else.
Just to encourage someone else, it’s never about US. When you feel you have the right to retaliate your hurt feelings on the one that hurt you, or on others, this is going in the opposite direction of what Jesus represented. Get besides yourself and follow in His steps!
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