Jesus is my inspiration. He says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” (Matthew 23:37). I love that picture of safe comfort under the Lord’s wings. I could not deny that to anyone. Have you ever noticed that the English language uses the same word for a group of birds as for sheep: a flock. Let the flock that he shepherds also be the flock under his wings. Come to Jesus, and Jesus, come!
I have just been surfing blogs and there are so many stories out there. There are so many people who are working, who are suffering, trying to live, to follow God. When I think “How would I like to be treated if I were in their shoes? How can I love this person today with what I have?” I am overwhelmed! I want to get to know everyone. I want to spend time with them, teach them, learn from them, live life with them. I want to jump in front of them on their way through life and stop our messy world from hurting them ever again. And I get tired just thinking about it, even before I do anything, and I so often give up. What impact can a drop of water make in the bone-dry desert? Yet, It’s frustrating I just don’t have time to care for everybody, though I so badly want to make everybody smile. In this, I have to give up my will to God, and trust that He will do as He has promised, and love everybody. His hands can reach further than mine and pull up the broken, embrace the hurt, tidy up someone who’s stumbled, and give direction to someone who’s confused about the next stage of their life. He can do all things. And I trust that he will direct me to where my love will work with his plan.
As silly as it is, I know a lot about grammar. So when reading blogs one of my usual thoughts is, “if only you let me edit that before you published it. I could have fixed it and it would be better, more perfect.” And then I see that I want to fix people. I want to make them perfect. Do I then love them? As much as I can, a flawed love when it’s not in God’s hands.
Lord, I thank you for the internet. Tonight I pray that you would alleviate my discomfort at being powerless to help. I ask that you would reveal to me your hand in the lives of people around me, and give me rest from my worry for them. Help me let go of my need to “fix” them and any pride I feed with that feeling, but let me love them with the love of your perfect son. In His name I pray, Amen.
And when I can, I try to find inspiration from this little boy.
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”