We Actually Think God Doesn’t Know

2006-06-19 086Many of you who read this blog know that I’m passionate about a ministry called Compassion International.  So passionate, in fact, that I volunteer for them.  I live and breathe to find just one more sponsor who will rise up and declare that they will love that one special child who is still waiting for a sponsor.  Why?  Because I have personally seen the impact our four sponsored children have had on my life.

I bet you thought I was going to say — because I have personally seen the impact I have had on my four sponsored children.  That’s what I thought in the beginning.  How easily I get it backwards!

Yesterday at church I was trying to explain to a couple how God had worked in my life through sponsorship.  I could see they wanted to sponsor but they just didn’t get it.  They had a million excuses why they shouldn’t — and they talked themselves right out of sponsorship even when I could see they really wanted to sponsor.  They ignored the clear prompting of God in their hearts to respond.  In reconciliation, I prefer to think of it as hope deferred.  God can be persistent 🙂

As a volunteer, sometimes this frustrates me.   People see the genuine need — they have more than enough money — and they choose to walk away from a child who really needs them.

God has had to teach me some hard lessons through my volunteerism.  He’s had to chastise me when I feel anger and disappointment welling up inside of me because of the selfishness I see in others (and if I’m honest, in myself.)  When I see someone pick up a packet and then walk away, it’s easy for me to judge others when I know I shouldn’t make conclusions about unfinished journeys.

The fact is, it’s easy for me to think that God needs my help when in reality, He doesn’t my help at all.  While I’m a mere vessel for offering opportunity to others– while I’m His hands and feet serving the children– only He inspires.  Only He convicts.  Only He can connect a child to a sponsor.

One of our sponsored children, Witness

One of our sponsored children, Witness

How do I know this?  Because God has told me that even the tiniest sparrow doesn’t fall without the our Father knowing about it.  I know this because Ephesians 1 tells me that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ and chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world — that He and only He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of HIS will.  How amazing is that?

Still, I inwardly rebel.  I see people living double lives. They say they want to serve but ignore a real and tangible way to rescue a hurting child.  I judge people’s motives and have no right to do so.

I watch as people, including myself, hide things from God — as if they could.   We actually think God doesn’t know our hearts.  I watch as people ignore clearly taught words in the Bible.  Words which ask us to do something.  I’m compassionate to a point, but since I’m a black and white person, I sometimes let it get the best of me.

How can people ignore James 1:27 or Psalm 112?  God has been clear about poverty in the Bible.  He has been clear about the need to help children.  To ignore these mandates, in my opinion, means that a person is ignoring God.  We say and believe that God is a just God.  We say He died for our sins.  We say He loves us.  We believe that He provides justice for those in need and yet we ignore that He asks us to be His hands and feet.

We convince ourselves that God doesn’t see this dark side of us.  We actually think God doesn’t know what we are doing (or not doing).  We choose what we want to do instead of choosing to love the things that God has asked us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10 is an amazing passage.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

It’s amazing enough in itself that we are saved!  We are saved only by the grace of God through our faith in Him.  Not only that, our salvation is a gift to us!  One day, we will live in eternity with the Father!  How amazing is that?

Our sponsored child, Amani, with his family

Our sponsored child, Amani, with his family

But here’s the kicker.  Here’s the part we often ignore.  We are created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared for us to do — before we were even created! God wants us to walk in this path.  He wants us to do the things He has prepared for us to do. Our good works won’t save us.  God has already done that for us.  But He has a little request of us.  He asks us to help those in genuine need.

These things aren’t unknown to us.  They aren’t things we esoterically divine for ourselves to do.  They are spelled out for us.   Zechariah 7:9-10 tells us not to oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner or the poor.  How simple is that?

If we truly understand with a grateful heart that God, in His infinite mercy towards us, saved US, then why can’t we do something as simple as saving a child?   Compassion International makes it so easy.

And the irony?  The blessing is yours.  It shouldn’t be — but I can almost guarantee it will be.  How beautiful is that?  God loved us so much that He not only saved us, but created us to be His hands and feet and in the process, He blesses us.  Amazing.  Simply and utterly amazing.

After it’s all said and done, we must remain faithful and trust that God, in His sovereignty, has a plan for each and every child — and for every sponsor.

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