Thursday, August 26, 2010

Perseverance and prayer

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today join me in praising the Lord for prayers answered for our friend, Mike! He has a job and his faith remains strong.

Mike used to have many tools for woodworking and construction until they were stolen last year. Months before that, he entered the "homeless" sector and had to store the tools at a friend's house.

One evening we got a phone call from Mike telling us his friend was close to dying. He had contracted a rare and quick-spreading cancer and was going downhill fast. Todd raced downtown to pick Mike up. They drove over to the friend's house and prayed at his bedside.

Two days later, the friend died. Unfortunately, the tools Mike has stored at his house were stolen.

This was the one-two punch for Mike as he was still reeling from his friend's death. With his tools gone, any chance for a pick-up construction job was slim to none. He held on to the Lord and persevered through a rough winter and spring. Many times, he wondered what would be next. Mike's faith and perseverance astounded me. He kept giving of himself when others were in need and always greeted me with a smile and hug even when his eyes told of struggles.

Of course, the Holy Spirit was at work all along. Once we shared the news of Mike's tools being stolen, a generous group of friends came together with donations for a surprise purchase for Mike - new tools and some terrific previously-used tools that looked and worked like new. He was going to have all he needed to tackle any big jobs that opened up.

Long story short (I know, too late!) a few guys got together with Mike and took him shopping. Mike was all about bargain hunting and making the best use of the money gifted to him. He was overwhelmed with gratitude.

After dinner one night, he asked us to store the tools in our home for safe-keeping since he didn't have any jobs lined up at the time. Soon, days turned into weeks and weeks into months with no work. We trusted God had prepared Mike with the tools. Wait patiently on the Lord...

Mike landed a couple odd jobs, but nothing big.

We hadn't seen or heard from Mike for over a month, but this morning he called and asked if I could bring the tools down to him at Matthew's House because he has two good jobs lined up starting tomorrow. Praise God!!

I met him on the sidewalk with a big hug. He then introduced me to Pastor George who is going to let Mike store the tools there. George told me about Matthew's House and their mission.

Let's just say that when the red-tape of the big agencies gets twisted up, the "little guys" (aka area churches and other groups) come together in big ways to assist and empower struggling brothers and sisters. It's a beautiful thing. The more God's family works together, the more His glory is shown. Jesus never said help just those who go to your church or live in your neighborhood or your own country. Whatever you do for the least of these...

We serve a mighty God Who chooses to work with great love through His sinful children. How amazing is that??

Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
-Theresa of Avila

Take a moment to give glory, honor and praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is at work in your life and the lives of many others this very moment.