Have you ever felt like if you put someone in your little box you could be the one to save them? I have and I’ve tried it and failed miserably. The crazy thing about seeing the brokenness in another person and setting out to help that person heal from brokenness is that it usually ends up corrupting me.
I alter myself to be like another without realizing or admitting to myself that I’m doing it – to be acceptable and conformable because if he thinks that I relate to him, and I’m like he is, perhaps I can help him to see that he’s like me too and accept my testimonies of what Christ has done in my life. For a few weeks now I keep hearing the scripture replay inside of my thoughts, “If they don’t accept you, dust off your feet and move on.” I’m paraphrasing from the words of Jesus as he gave instruction to his disciples that were sent out two by two.
Here’s the issue in how I perceived this text to what I’m walking out and learning in this season about the desires of my own heart to love and help another….. I’m not for everyone. That doesn’t mean that the other person is a lost cause or that I am, or that God is against me or against him or that one is right or wrong, it just means he’s not my audience. If one person’s testimony could heal all, why in the world did Jesus choose 12 disciples – why not just 1? And if then only a handful were purposed to do the will of God healing the sick and testifying of Christ, then why was the calling upon all to make disciples out of men? Why wouldn’t the ones who found Christ just be saved and then “poof” head on up to heaven with Christ?
The calling upon all of our lives, as I’m seeing this tonight is to recognize the oil that we’ve been given by the author and finisher of our faith who writes his redemption on our lives – piece by piece and then to testify of HIS PEN in our journeys. For example, on the other side of a trial that I’ve walked through – one that turned out good because God answered my prayers, I now have a testimony specific to that trial. I hurt, I asked and I received. And who is my audience? People who are now walking in the shoes I was once walking inside of. Paul said “Who he calls he first qualifies.” Well, if I’ve never battled addiction, why in the world would someone battling addiction want to hear any of my remedies? But so often, I get this wrong – I want to help people so I start testifying of what I’ve heard or read somewhere – I start trying to solve a problem that I have ZERO first-hand wisdom of God defeating that thing in my life. I’ve never prayed to be released from addition and God’s never answered that prayer and shown me His son Christ inside of a trial that I have never had so who in the world do I think I am trying to testify to anyone on this subject? I have no true connection to that person’s hurt or struggle. I’m NOT qualified and anything I say to that person is not truth – it’s speculation, opinion, assumption or belief that might as well just be a huge lie all together because I DONT KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT first-hand. If someone is facing abandonment, I can tell my story and God did answer my prayers and God did send a replacement and it was a beautiful thing.
I recently found a friend that I cared much about and like most people who I care about, I began to pay attention. I listened to his problems and took note of everything I heard him speak over himself – I could see his pain and even how specific experiences have caused harm to his heart. But I’ve never walked through many of his challenges. Yet, I want to testify of how Christ has saved me from many of my challenges. I end up in this cycle that’s much like trying to give a person who’s hungry for food a key to a place to stay. It’s not what they need. His needs do not meet my qualifications and in trying to testify to someone when my toolkit simply doesn’t have the oil inside of it that fits the other person’s needs, I am likely to do more harm than good not only to my friend, but to myself too.
It’s frustrating when we love someone and want to help them find the beauty of the Lord’s help and redemption in our circumstances and trials, and we simply can’t do it. I imagine this is related to the scriptures that say Jesus didn’t heal or perform miracles to those from his hometown – the ones who were close to him and familiar with him.
If I can stop TRYING to do good for the ones who I want to help (and clearly have something to gain in return), long enough to allow the Lord to open my eyes to the ones who HE IS SENDING to me, perhaps I can understand the importance of his match-making process to use me according to his purpose and the beautiful manner in which he ignite his flame with my oil to bring glory to HIS NAME… not ever mine. And perhaps I can understand why I need to dust my feet off and stop testifying to the ones who don’t accept what I have to give – not because they’re bad or wrong, but because God wants to send someone else for that one – someone he’s qualified especially for that person.
Tonight I’m praying a new kind of prayer in realizing my own ego and pride in desiring to be someone’s savior who I love or care about – I’m praying for God to heal without me in the equation – to send someone else to be the hands and feet of Christ. That’s not an easy prayer in these circumstances but I think it’s a trial of my own heart in doing so. What if I’m not part of the picture and God’s will is to remove me all together from the journey alongside people I love? Can I be OK with that and give God his children back – take a “hands off” approach to what was never mine and belongs only to HIM? Can I walk away and pray for the salvation and healing of one’s heart, even if that whole heart may never hold a space for me in it?
Oh be still my ego… you lose every time.
Thank you Lord for this moment… In Jesus’ name Amen.