Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Help Wanted

            Six years ago I was working as the director of a small inner-city Christian school. Our building was downtown and it’s sidewalks were the main thoroughfare for the homeless population of Amarillo. Needless to say, we had interesting encounters on a daily basis. The front door to our building remained locked, and when the bell rang I’d leave my office to answer it. Discovering who (and sometimes what) was behind the door was always an adventure.
            One day, I answered the door to find an elderly man standing with a rag over his shoulder and a painter’s pole in his hand. “Excuse me ma’am,” he said “Can I wash your windows for twenty-dollars?” This was a pretty typical request and at first I refused, but he persisted politely. Finally, I gave in and gave him the job of washing the large windows on the outside of the building.
            After settling on the terms of our agreement, I went back to work only to hear the doorbell ring again. I answered it to find the now familiar face of the window washer standing there with yet another request. “Do you happen to have a bucket and a hose I could borrow to wash your windows?” He asked.
            In the spirit of helping this guy out, I scrounged up an old paint bucket and showed him where the spigot was to run some water outside. In anticipation of the next need on his list, I even threw in a little dish soap.
            Back to my office I went, and was barely seated in my chair when the doorbell rang for the third time. There was the “window washer” again saying, “Looks like I’ve got everything, and I have this pole so I’d be able to reach the tops of those windows . . .if I had a squeegee. But I don’t.”
            By this time, I had become frustrated enough to just give him the twenty-dollars, let him keep the bucket and wished him well in his window washing enterprise.  
            The other day while planning and preparing for a busy week, I started to feel overwhelmed. In those moments there’s not a lot of time to devote to prayer. As a matter of fact there is a more distinct shift over to self-reliance. The mantra becomes, “We’ll get it all done. Somehow.” It’s evident by the inevitable crash and burn feeling left after the flurry of activity that I’m not handling life in a way God intends for His child.
            God has called us to do great things, but not in our own strength. Without Him it is impossible. Just like the window washer, we bring nothing to the table. Any gift, effective word, any useful resource, whatever compassion and strength we have is given by God’s grace. We must walk in an understanding of our total dependence upon Him, so that we might know where to send others and they too can find life.
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens – Jesus the Son of God - let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.”

            We serve a God who calls us into His presence and there we find “ . . . mercy and grace to help us at the proper time”.  In this busy season, may we call on Jesus and rely on Him to equip us in everyway so that we can accomplish great and mighty things in His name.


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