She sat on the cold pavement, hunching her torso over into her lap to better shield her body from the harsh winter wind. The forecast had predicted dropping temperatures overnight, and it appeared as though she would transition to her makeshift bed in that exact same spot on that exposed intercity street.
I hadn’t planned on approaching her.
We were in the city with a tight schedule to keep, and I thought I would pray for her in my head as I briskly walked right on by. But before I knew what was happening, my young daughter took my hand and pulled me back until we were crouched down, invading this woman’s street home with more proximity than I had planned.
Our faces drew close. Our eyes met. Our hands reached out to hers.
She gave no request according to her physical need. Instead, I leaned in to hear a soft, sweet hymn coming from her lips. She spoke of gratitude and of God’s faithfulness, and I’ll never forget the look of pure JOY on her face for as long as I live.
We stopped not knowing what we’d encounter.
We stayed because our hearts couldn’t pull away.
Ends up she had provision for the night, and a plan to get back on her feet. God was already using His people. A fire had taken her home, but it sure hadn’t snuffed out her faith.
His name was on her lips, and He was her firm foundation. In fact, she’d be the first to tell you that she was a very, very rich woman.
Rich in Christ Jesus…
They stop us in our tracks because they live life so counter-culturally. In a society that fights for what’s right, fair, and easy, there is something radically different about these people. When you run across them, you can’t miss them. And after you’ve been in their presence, you can’t stop thinking about how stunning their behavior is. What they do simply doesn’t make sense to the rest of the world, and they illicit the blaring question, “What is it about these people that makes them so different?”
It’s the JOY of the Lord, plain and simple.
Except for it’s not plain, and their circumstances are far from simple.
It’s almost always JOY under some pretty weighty circumstances, and that’s what makes them stand out even more. Like stars piercing through the darkest night, they shine so brilliantly and beautifully that you just can’t take your eyes off of them.
They’re under great pressure, but there’s JOY.
They’re physically lacking, but there’s JOY.
They’re treated unfairly, but there’s JOY.
They’re grieving great loss, but there’s JOY.
We fight for these things with a worldly expectation, but satisfaction never comes to stay. Often in the fighting, we’re more miserable than ever.
But when we fix our minds and hearts on the sovereignty and goodness of our Savior, everything begins to look different.
Our hope remains steadfast.
Peace overwhelms us like a flood.
Genuine joy overflows.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live like that.
“My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
Trust, friend. God will supply in His time and in His way.
Our greatest need?
His name is Jesus.
When you ask for God’s supply, first ask for more of Him…
At His feet,
*Let’s talk: We want to hear from you in the comments! What has God spoken to YOU through His Word as we’ve studied through Philippians together?
Sad that our Philippians study is over? Don’t be! Beginning November 27th, join us for our 4-week Christmas study called: His Name Is…
“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name…” – Philippians 2:9
When it comes to God, one name just isn’t adequate enough to tell of His great character and mighty power. One name simply cannot contain our Savior.
For four weeks leading up to Christmas, join the Love God Greatly community as we look at four names that reveal to us the greatness of Jesus.
His name is…
The Alpha and Omega.
The Bright Morning Star.
The Good Shepherd.
The Prince of Peace.
Through studying the names of God, we get to know our Savior more fully and spend time adoring Him for who He is. God shows Himself to us through His names because of His great love for us. We, in turn, have the privilege of loving, worshiping, and resting in Him on an even deeper level during this reflective time of year.