She stood by the side of the road in the face of a steady rain as cars streamed by her in both directions. Across her waist was a cardboard sign with large letters pleading, “I need work for food. Have two kids. Please God”. Hers was not the ordinary sign of the typical person waiting at strategic intersections for someone to feel guilty, stop and give money--the kind of person whose demeanor actually begs the question “Why don’t you go get a job and work instead of standing here all day.” This woman was sobbing. Her eyes cried the pain that emanates from a broken spirit. Her trembling transcended wet-induced cold to a dark hopelessness. Her plight evoked deep compassion in me not because she needed food or money. Her sign was more profound than that. Her real cry was—“Please God!” This woman knew that her deepest needs went far beyond what caring strangers could offer.
We don’t like the reality behind destitution do we? Typically we respond to the indigent in one of three ways.
1. We do all we can to protect the one hurting from crashing. In our haste to avoid pain, we would save Lazarus from dying and therefore we miss God’s resurrecting power. Before we attempt to be saviors we should listen to the voice of the One who saves and follow His promptings. He may allow a person to experience utter hopelessness so that repentance and a willingness to trust Him can occur. This is a deeper love than we often understand.
2. We ignore the one hurting and move on. Our callousness betrays our own impoverished state.
3. We rationalize that what looks like one hurting is not what it seems justifying our right to not get involved. Strangely, we respond in similar fashion to God’s commands by finding ways not to obey Him.
Psalm 102:17--He will pay attention to the prayer of the destitute and will not despise their prayer.
Despair is the gateway to salvation. “Please God”, is the right place to start. Please God, hear her prayer and surround her with Your awesome love.
We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God; we must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest blessing spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute; until we get there Our Lord is powerless.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)