“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” - Mother Teresa
Before the Easter service, as we were inflating balloons to take into the church, we discovered there weren’t enough balloons. Dennis quickly rushed to a nearby store to buy more. When he returned, we discovered that the new balloons were too small so he had to go back for still more. The result was worth the effort but quite honestly I was glad I wasn’t the one spending my Easter morning running around looking for balloons.
Like the basketball fans downtown the following weekend, we weren’t shy about making our needs known. We needed balloons and they needed tickets. But what about our need for God? When Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize him, John replied, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matt. 3:14b NIV). John was a prophet—the last one to come before Christ—but he wasn’t afraid to admit his own need for God. He freely told the people,
Every day, we meet people who need God. But they’re not like the basketball fans downtown; they’re not wearing signs that say “Need God!” We don’t know by looking which people need God and which ones don’t. They may not know themselves. When we started, we didn’t know there weren’t enough balloons. It wasn’t until we started decorating the church that we discovered that we needed more. We don’t necessarily know whether someone needs God. But if we meet the needs we do know about, we can show them God through our actions. Paul wrote, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. . . . if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously;” (Rom. 12:6, 8b NIV). Even though we can’t necessarily know that a specific person needs God, we do know that everyone needs to encounter the living God. And we can sometimes go a long way toward ministering to his or her need for God by meeting the needs we can see (Matt. 25:34-40). If the people around us are able to see God in our actions and responses, they may be willing to allow God to help them with their own needs. Just as we were able to get more balloons when we realized we didn’t have enough, we have a God who is ready to meet all our needs. God’s love is always enough for us and always just the right size. If we will share the truth about our wonderful God and marvelous savior with persons in need, the Spirit can work through us to transform individual lives, our community, and our world.
“But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
“I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:7-9 NIV.)
Copyright © 2005 by David Phelps