The man was wearing tattered clothing covered with stains and holes. His hat kept the hot California sun from burning his face. He stood on a busy street corner, during the middle of rush hour traffic, holding an old cardboard sign.
“Hungry – Please Help. God Bless!!!”
My first reaction was to think about how this man could go out and get a job just like I did. After all, I was a single mother with no formal education and I was supporting two children on my own. If I could do it, surely this man could.
As I got closer to the street light, I actually prayed, “God please don’t let me get stuck at the light, just let me get through”. I was beginning to feel angry at this man for wanting something from me. If I had extra, I would buy myself some new socks or maybe a Starbucks coffee.
Of course, my prayer didn’t work. I was the first one to get stopped at the light so the homeless guy was standing right next to my window. I was doing that thing where I pretended not to see him – no eye contact. Then God gave me a gentle nudge and reminded me that I had just been to Costco. I had a whole tray of apples sitting in the seat next to me!!
God also opened my eyes to the sign that said, “Hungry, Please Help……” The man was not asking for money, he was asking for food.
Immediately I felt convicted, so I rolled my window down and offered the man an apple. Just as soon as I did, he smiled the BIGGEST smile and said, “Thank you and God Bless”.
That’s when I noticed he didn’t have a single tooth in his mouth!!
Just as quickly as God laid conviction on my heart, the enemy swooped in and did the same thing. I drove away feeling mortified for offering a hungry man with no teeth an apple.
I cried and felt totally defeated, “I am such a jerk and totally useless. I can’t even do God’s work right!”
Thankfully, it was Wednesday Night Bible Study and I was able to take my story to a group of women that walked me through it.
We talked about how God speaks to us, but so does the enemy. God gives us thoughts of righteousness, love, thanksgiving, worth, and encouragement. If we aren’t careful the enemy will replace those thoughts with fear, insecurity, anxiety, anger, frustration, and discouragement.. The enemy will tell you that you’re worthless, you’re a failure, you’re ugly …….. “you can’t even do God’s work right”.
After that study, I began immersing myself into bible scriptures. As I learned more about the Word of God and had a better understanding of God’s love, I realized that I could choose to believe God’s words over the enemy’s.
God wants us to believe in ourselves because we were created in His image.
Imagine one of your children (or someone you love very much if you don’t have kids) coming to you and saying, “I’m a loser. Ugly. No good. No one likes me and I will never amount to anything”.
What would your response be?
You would say, “Sweetheart, you are beautiful, amazing and talented. You may be struggling right now, but this wont last forever. I love you.”
God loves us just the same. When a negative thought enters your mind, realize it isn’t from God – be quick replace it. “I am a beautiful child of God and I refuse to listen to the lies”.
What are some of the ways God has worked in your life? Please share in the comment section.
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.