On my heart I have an unwritten, yet very real list of my favorite things. Friendship along with laughter, salvation and sunshine (not in that order) are some of those “things” I am most thankful for!
Recently, my husband and I had the joy of crossing paths with several incredible folks we had not seen for a long time. It warmed my heart to overflowing as we received (and gave) hugs, prayers and encouragement from wonderful people who loved Jesus and us! They were real, genuine and gave of themselves; most likely having no idea how just being authentic blessed us so much.
It is not easy to be a friend. Most often it costs something. My heart’s desire is to be a good friend, to pray, stand, believe with and cheer others on. Most of the time I believe I am OK at the friend “thing” – but I want to BE more than just “OK”. I long to be like Jesus at every level of relationship in my life.
My heart yearns to be a living breathing example of his love. I wonder -why it is so hard for us to follow his lead…
He is PRACTICAL-sending love to us in so many ways both seen and unseen! I call it Jesus with skin on. People being Jesus-by giving of themselves one person at a time. I love it! We are not called to save the world nor do everything. He only asks us to do what he puts in front of us to do. Trust him for the outcome.
He is PATIENT – faithful and tolerant of our shortcomings. When we stumble and fall, (otherwise known as sin and letting him down) he is quick to forgive, only asking us to look at him for the next step of our journey.
He is PURSUING – He is relentless in his love for us. I think that pretty well says it all. He never gives up. As a parent I know about loving my children even when it is messy. God has put it in my heart to never give up on those I love. But, even in making that commitment, it does not compare to the unyielding love he has for his children.
I am challenging myself to be a little bit more like Jesus with skin on this week. One smile, one hug, one word at a time. Often, my efforts seem insignificant and puny. The world needs Jesus and my contribution feels small and weak. But, I am drawn to Matthew 10:42 from the Message Bible-
“This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”
We are not responsible for the outcome of the action, we are only asked to be willing and do what WE are asked to do. My hope is to become more tuned in and observe with new eyes what God is doing around me, daily looking for at least one opportunity to be Jesus for someone else. I want to notice his hand at work. I desire to live out of my comfort zone more often and pray for the grace to do so!
Lord- keep me focused on you and aware of your hand before me and around me …not only on the overwhelming everything of all I see which I cannot change. Show me what you have for me today. Equip me for what you have asked me to do- today. Thank you for good friends who stand and pray and hug. Thank you for wearing skin today in the form of good, real and loving friends. Show me where the cold water it is and who needs it today. Amen.
Thanks for stopping by Mosaic- there are so many places you could have spent the last few moments, yet you chose to linger here. I would love to hear your thoughts… who has God brought you to bring a cup of cold water and how do you experience Jesus with skin on? Where do you see him the most and are you living outside of your box?