Monday, May 18, 2009
How much more talk of this bad economy can we endure? It seems like all we hear is negative, and the word "economy" has been used more this year than I can ever recall hearing in my lifetime. There is A LOT of focus on the negative. My personal focus has been being drawn to the positive.
If you live in the United States in a homeless shelter you are still better of than countless people in less fortunate areas of the world. Even at our worst we still have it better than many. The question is, though, do we even realize it? Or, are we just too spoiled?
When it boils down to it our minimal requirements to survive are food and clothing, and doesn't God promise to provide them for us? Would we know how to be happy if those basic needs were met, and we had nothing else? How would we spend our time? Has it ever dawned on you that Jesus was a homeless man when he walked the earth? His disciples and those he ministered to cared for him. He did not have a home. Others provided him food and shelter as he spread the gospel and served his fellow man.
I have found myself thinking on these things a lot lately, as I feel so very blessed. The conclusion I have come to is that with blessing comes responsibility. If God has blessed us above and beyond what we need, food and clothing, it is our responsibility to share what we have with others. We should not hoard our surplus for the future. God promises to provide. We should share what we have.
Here in Michigan our economy and jobless rate is worse off than anywhere else in the country. We are surrounded with those that need. It seems like thousands lose their jobs ever day, and the prospects for those that are unemployed are very bleak. The playing ground has changed, and old ways of dealing with things are ineffective. One must really be aggressive in order to make anything happen, and even then the situation is not promising.
I have found myself conversing with God in regard to how he has blessed me and my family. My husband is a transmission mechanic. Praise God, his business is not suffering with the economy. It is staying steady due to the economy. People are fixing their cars and driving them longer. This is a blessing to us. He will be going back into business for himself, Lord willing, this September. Our decisions, prayers, and focus all point in this direction, and we are quite confident that this is where we are being led. However, we are open to His guidance should this not be His will. There is peace here, and I am finding that responsibility comes with that. My prayer has become, "What would you have me do to serve others, Lord?" I find myself looking for opportunities to give back to my community. There is so much we can do. Here is a list of ideas:
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
Plant a garden, and donate the surplus to a local food bank.
Volunteer at a local food bank sorting food.
Mentor a young person.
Adopt a grandparent at a local nursing home or senior center.
Prepare resumes for free to those that are out of work.
Donate food and clothing to local charities.
Instead of a yard sale, donate your items to Purple Heart or another local charity.
Volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Host a Bible study in your home for young people.
Provide transportation to and from church for those that have no way to get there otherwise.
The above is just a very short list of possible ideas to make a difference. It is my hope that it has gotten your creative juices flowing, and you can come up with something that works with your skills and the special needs of your community. If you have food and clothing, praise the Lord, and bless those that you can around you.