Tag Archives: Christ

Just Be There 

“You don’t have to have a pulpit and a following of hundreds to have a ministry. It can be just as simple as overcoming all the obstacles, heartache and pain, and someone being inspired by your faith through it all.” – Kavis K. Peak (am I allowed to quote myself?)

Everyone doesn’t have the gift of public speaking, small talk, singing or playing an instrument. So that would more than likely rule out being a pastor, usher, praise and worship leader, member of the choir and even a church musician. All of those are positions in the church that are revered, and dare I say highly coveted. I purposely used the word coveted. Look up the definition in the dictionary, and the Tenth Commandment in Exodus 20:17 to know why.

But even if God didn’t give you a gift that is on display on Sunday mornings, or whenever service is being held in the sanctuary you attend, it doesn’t mean what you do have isn’t as valuable.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” ~ 1 Peter 4:10

I believe you can be blessed with the gift of availability. In sports the saying goes “the best ability is availability.” What I mean is, some people are very good at just doing the simple task of sitting in comforting silence with a person who is grieving so they don’t feel alone, or listen when a person is venting their pain and frustrations. Some are good at organization, which can help a person who feels their life is out of balance, causing them enormous amounts of stress. Others may be good at writing resumes and cover letters, and can take their time to help someone get theirs in proper order to obtain a great job. There are also those who are able to lift a person’s spirits just by saying hello and offering a friendly smile. Many are living examples of just doing the right thing.

I’ll give you a few examples from my life where my availability was used by God to help someone else. In mid 2012 to late 2013 I was in the midst of a lengthy unemployment period after leaving a career I no longer wanted to be apart of. As I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next, both my maternal grandfather and Dad became very ill. My grandfather was in Georgia, where my mother is from, my Dad in my home state of Ohio. My mom asked me could I go stay with my Grannie while Paw-Paw was in a nursing home waiting for a life saving surgery. Of course I said “yes.” I lived in Thomaston, Georgia for a year, finishing grad school online, while staying with my grandmother and going to the hospital with her when Paw-Paw had a few late night emergency scares. I really didn’t feel like I was doing much, but my Dad told me during those days where I felt useless, that my presence was enough to keep my grandmother at peace, as well as other family members who were concerned about her being alone had I not been there. Eventually my Paw-Paw passed and I stayed with my grandmother for half a year after that before my Dad fell even more ill.

“A generous person will prosper. Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” ~ Proverbs 11:25

Then I flew back to Cleveland, Ohio where he was being treated by specialists for his condition. I was there everyday for three months, many times ten hours a day, for every surgery, medical test and doctor visit until unfortunately he passed. A couple weeks before he died, my Dad said “thanks for coming to see me everyday.” I replied “no problem, you’d do it for me.” I know being there for him provided some sort of normalcy in a scary situation, even though I couldn’t really help him with what he was going through. But in saying thanks, he assured me I was doing something helpful.

Here’s another less sad example. A while back I was at the gym working out when I saw a lady I see there often. We always speak to each other and extend pleasantries, but we never get too personal. I was walking on the track cooling off at the end of my workout and was going to be leaving in a few minutes, but I didn’t want to leave before at least saying hello. So I went by and softly tapped her on the shoulder and said “hi” while she was on the rowing machine. She smiled, waved and said “hello” in return. When I came back around the next time, she got off the machine and waved me over. She said “this may sound silly, but I was having a rough day with all my health issues and my body isn’t dealing with my mess so well… and it made my day that you would come over and say hello.” A couple days later I saw her again at the gym and she repeated how much it meant that I said hello. All I was trying to do was greet her because I hadn’t seen her in a while. I don’t say this to brag on myself, but to let you know that what you think is a simple act or small gesture, God can use to make a bigger impact.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ~ Matthew 25:40

My overall point is, don’t get caught up in believing you must do something grand to have a purpose or make an impact. It really is the little things as they say. Take what you do have and make a difference.

I leave you with this, one of my favorite scriptures… “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ~ Galatians 6:2 

God Doesn’t Give Us Struggles/Troubles….

Whenever I have had difficulties in my life, family and close friends have said to me “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” I understand their sentiment, but I whole-heartedly believe that statement is wrong in reference to struggles. Why? Because, I don’t believe God is the one who gives us troubles. There are times when He may allow it—see the entire book of Job for example—so He can use it to teach us and those around us something valuable.

If you really think about it, it’s in the moments that we can’t handle, that we HAVE to lean more on Him. As evident by the scripture in Romans 8:28 that tells us God will work everything out for the good of those who love Him. Say He did dole out trouble, and He only gave us “what we could handle”, when would we ever learn to lean and trust in Him?

“I have told you this so that you may have peace because of me, while you are in the world you will suffer, but cheer up I have defeated the world.” ~ John 16:33b

I take the above scripture to mean the evil of this world, that entered when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Life, thus allowing sin into the Earth, is the cause of many of the unfortunate things we encounter and have struggled through. God already knows those things are going to happen, because He knows all. But, He doesn’t cause it. The evildoers of this world are the source of the problem, just like temptations.

Speaking of temptations, many times the trouble, struggles, disappointments and difficult circumstances we face is a consequence to a bad decision or action we’ve made. Can’t blame God for those right?

“You reap what you sow.” ~ Galatians 6:7b

That’s the punishment. So I don’t think you can look at God as the cause of our troubles. A good parent would not purposely hurt you to teach you a lesson (I’m excluding butt whuppins. “Spare the rod spoil the child, spoil the rod spare the child.” ~ Proverbs 13:24) but they’ll definitely use our screws ups to teach us something. I believe God is the same way. We’re all going to make mistakes, we are sinners. Doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us. We are His pride and joy.

I will say that I’ve read many scriptures on God’s wrath and punishment, but that’s a much deeper study than what I’m trying to point out here, or even qualified to breakdown. Therefore I won’t.

So, back to the saying that is the focus of my premise. What I think has happened, is people have confused or misinterpreted the scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be TEMPTED beyond what you can bear.”

I do believe God won’t give you more than you can handle in terms of blessings. If you can’t handle $100 why would He trust you with $1,000? You don’t show up on time and give your best on your current, yet unfulfilling job, so why would He allow you to get a promotion or a better career only to get fired when you can’t get things done? You’re not a good partner and treat your boyfriend/girlfriend like an option not a priority, why would He allow you to get married and be an even worse spouse? These and others I haven’t mentioned, are things we’ve proven to not handle well, therefore I trust that God won’t give us more of them until we prove we can.

Lastly, and probably more importantly, what people need to understand is we live in a fallen world that is a battleground between good and evil. So some of the obstacles and struggles we face are resistance from the enemy trying to get us to self-destruct, disobey God or quit doing what we’ve been called to do. That is why we must stay reading the Bible to learn how to deal with the evil we face and how God fights our spiritual battles for and with us.

“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”  ~ Exodus 14:14

“People who do what is right may have many problems, but the Lord will solve them all.”  ~ Psalms 34:19

I’m not a preacher, or Biblical scholar. Just someone studying the Word for the betterment of my soul, and have absorbed some things that may help someone else. I always pray and ask God that what I’m writing and sharing isn’t leading anyone astray or misinforming them. We’re seeing a lot of vicious, heinous, and unthinkable acts happening in our world. It’s the kingdom of evil making its final push to cause as much pain and destruction as it can in these last of the last days. This topic has been on my heart for a very long while (I actually wrote the first draft of this over 480 days ago) and hopefully it helps someone in these difficult, dark days. I want to do my part. Hey, I can’t always write and talk about sports. There’s more to life.

  • Additional reading, 1 Peter 5:8-9, Ephesians 6:12-14, John 10:10