Wednesday, October 12, 2011

fifty-five cents

A few days ago I took my mom for an emergency eye visit. After the visit I took her to do her grocery shopping. I was suppose to stop and grab her medicine, but forgot. So, after running her home and unloading all of her groceries I ran back to the drug store.

I can tell you that I was a bit aggravated with myself for having to drive back to the drug store. I was getting very tired and just wanted to be home. I was thinking of all the stuff I still yet had to do at home and it was already getting late in the day.

I pull up in front of the drug store and see a man get out of his vehicle. He was walking with a cane. He was a young man, not old at all. His wife was in the driver seat. I don't know why I noticed them. Well, not until I was in the drug store that is.

As we walk in together, this man went before me. He was there getting medication for his daughter. She was a sick little girl. After he was told how much his medication was, he said, "Let me run out to the car." I had grabbed my mom's medication and was out the door getting ready to get in my car. I look over and he is there digging in his car and his wife is going through her purse. I started to cry. I cannot tell you how much this broke my heart. Why? Because I had been there. I knew their pain at that very moment.

I ran back in and paid for his medication. I am standing there praying that I pay for his medication before he comes back in. But that wasn't the case. As I was on one end of the counter, he was at the other saying, "I'm real sorry, but I will have to come back tomorrow and get that medicine." At this time, his meds are paid for and I turn to leave and she says, "Mrs. Prater, do you want to give him his meds?" I turn and whisper, "No."

I get in my car and just break down. I tell you, I mean I sat and cried for this family. Now, this was a God thing. I had no intention of sharing with anyone. I am not writing so you think I did something huge. I didn't. It wasn't huge at all. You know why? His medication was fifty-five cents. This family didn't have fifty-five cents.

While my husband was laid off from his job there were days when we didn't know what we were going to put on the table. Most people have no idea just how bad it was for my family. For three years we struggled. Of everything I have been through in my life, those three years were the hardest by far.

I think God allows us to go through things just so we can see the pain of others. We can have compassion that we didn't have before. We can relate on a level we never realized we would. When we know a deep pain another shares it's easier to reach out. You just wish you could hug their pain away. It makes a huge difference in the life of another just to have someone reach out. To say, "I am praying for you."

But see, on this day, God placed me right where I was to be. If I hadn't forgot my mom's meds in the first place I wouldn't have been there. God knew this family didn't have the money for their medication and He made a way. I cannot begin to count the times when my family was at a loss and God made a way. God has perfect timing and all we must do is be ready and make ourselves available. This was another reminder for me of all God has done for my family. Even in all my heart bears today, He was saying, "See, I am here."

In the hustle and bustle of our day we miss so much because we are totally focused on us. We are thinking of all we must do in the day and then we are thinking of what is awaiting us at home. What if we just slowed down a bit? What if we just took a glance around outside of our box and our comfort zone? We would begin to see the hurts of those around us.

I have heard the Lord urge me to move on His behalf and just stalled there in the midst of my comfort. We have the idea that someone else will step in. Sure, someone else might have been there at the drug store instead of me to give a helping hand, but God orchestrated His perfect timing. I have learned that receiving a gift is a humbling experience. But my friends, giving is just as humbling. You are opening yourself up to another. It is as though in that perfect moment you connect and all you feel is the gentle hand of God.

"You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." 2 Corinthians 9:7

"Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important." Galatians 6:2-3

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 5:18-19

I wanted to share this with you because I have been there. I have been there wondering, "What are we going to do?" God cares for us and HE will meet our every need. Every need is met by Him. We must learn to trust Him and know that He is bigger than any circumstance that comes our way.

In the three years my husband was laid off times were very hard. But the Lord brought us through. Just as He brought us through that trial, He too will bring us through the next and the next after that. There will always be a next. Struggle will always be prevalent in our lives. That is where God continues to show Himself.

Times are hard and they are only going to get tougher. This is where we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. We can be the hands and feet of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Not until heaven will we fully grasp the difference we have made in another person's life. The same is true for me. I cannot wait to meet all those who stepped in and made a difference when I wasn't even aware of their presence.

Make a difference today. Reach out. Step out beyond your comfort zone. Use what the Good Lord has given you to bring a smile to someone else.
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