Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Get Your Free Gasoline Today
story by: lisa petrarca
This past week I had an encounter with a homeless man. I was incredibly pressed for time, on a tight schedule with a mile long list of things to accomplish in a two hour time frame. An elderly man in his 80's, confined to a wheelchair, leather cracked lines road mapping his face, sat quietly in front of my first stop. As I approached his head was cast downward, the simple cardboard sign he held read, "Anything will help." He never looked up as several people walked into the store. He sat silently, as if he was ashamed to be sitting in front of the store asking others for help.
I made a mental note to be sure to buy him food. In my mad rush, I completely forgot. I was leery about giving him cash, not wanting to contribute to any addictions he may have, so I gave him nothing. I felt bad but headed out of the driveway & across the street to grab a quick bite to eat before my next errand. The pang of guilt/prompting of the Holy Spirit grew stronger as I walked up to order. I noticed a stack of food gift cards next to the register & decided to get him one.
I jumped in my car & rushed back to the store. He was still there. As I walked up to him he slowly raised his head, I said, "Here you go, get yourself something to eat." He softly said, "Thank you very much." I let him know that Jesus loved him & quickly headed onto my next list item.
This encounter probably wouldn't have happened the same way, had I not remembered to pray that morning, asking the Lord to fill me with His spirit. I asked that He use me to help others and bring things to my attention. I used prayer as my fuel, my gasoline and God directed me straight to a needy person. Without gas/fuel we wouldn't be able to start our cars, we'd be stuck. A day without prayer is exactly the same thing, we usually are left overwhelmed, anxious and worried, which leaves us unable to focus on the things God has for us that day.
If I hadn't remembered to pray, I know that my plans and schedule for the day would have taken precedence over going out of my way to help someone in need. You see, I allowed God to "Fill up my tank." I specifically asked to be filled with the love of Christ. He responded by taking me straight to someone in need. On my own, I don't always notice things. My schedule is full, my days are exhausting and I wouldn't have the time or desire to meet the needs of strangers. I'm barely able to meet all the needs of my family.
But with God filling me up in the morning, He helps me see the things that He sees. He lifts me up, fills me up and guides my way. Showing me HIS direction for my day! Be sure to gas up today, It's Free and you have a long, busy day in front of you. Don't forget to pray!
But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7
Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.
2 Corinthians 8:2-3
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."
2 Corinthians 9:6-9