Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless HIS HOLY NAME.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lift Up Your Eyes

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white, already to harvest." John 4:35

This week, my heart has been tender as I have been praying for a little 2-year-old baby girl who is in the hospital in Intensive Care.  She was in a terrible accident last Saturday, and my heart has been so burdened for her and her family.  I put myself in that mother's place, and imagine myself sitting day and night next to my baby's hospital bed, begging God to spare her life.

I think that all too often, we get so involved in our petty problems, our little corner of our world, and forget to look out to others who are truly hurting.  Satan is a master at inventing fears and cooking up "what-ifs" in our minds, and we become preoccupied all day worrying about and focused on that one thing.

I look out my kitchen window every single day and watch people go by.  I see mothers rushing their children to school; I see young people walk by, with no clue of how much their decisions today can impact the rest of their lives; I see ladies carrying burdens...I can tell by the look on their faces.  I hear my neighbors arguing and fighting nearly all day long, the mother always yelling at the children.  I have become acquainted with the routine of some of the people in my neighborhood as they pass my window day after day.

And I pray, "God, save that young man."  "Lord, give her peace that comes through a personal relationship with you."

But sometimes, when MY burden seems the heaviest, and MY problem just got bigger than everyone else's (or so I think) then I lower my gaze.  I begin to look inwardly and become focused on my own petty problems.

Not long ago, our family was parked on a busy street.  We were waiting for someone to meet us.  I dug through my purse looking for my phone.  I checked for messages, and laid my phone aside.  When I looked up, I saw 2 men at the door of a business giving false doctrine to someone inside.  (I could not see the people that the men were talking to.  They were there for at least 10 minutes.)  The Lord spoke to my heart and said, "You know the Truth.  Go tell them."  I told my husband, "I must go speak to them."  After the 2 men were gone, I went to the door of the business, and there were two ladies was a young lady, and one an older lady.  I told them that we were sitting waiting in our vehicle, and that I felt impressed to go speak to them.  I began to tell them that the Word of God is the only truth in this world, and that we can trust God's Word.  As I was speaking to them, the older lady (the mother of the younger lady who was there stood up and began to weep. She said that this past year was one of hardship and complete material loss.  She said her husband lost his job; they lost their home and their vehicle.  They had it all...and from one day to the next, they had nothing.  She poured out her heart to me, a complete stranger who just stopped in to tell them that God loves them, and that His Word is truth.

When I prepared to leave, they both (mother and daughter) gave me a hug.  They said, "I feel like God sent you here at just this moment to tell us that He sees us, and that everything is going to be okay."

If we lifted up our eyes more often, I think we would truly see people as God sees them.  People are hurting everywhere.  People who live without God also live without hope.  If you'll focus on them, you'll see hurt and desperation.

One evening last month, my daughter and I ran down to the corner store to buy some milk and bread. A very young man came into the store and asked for a "six-pack," and I thought how young he looked to be buying beer. When my daughter and I left the store, I saw that the young man had gone around the corner down a dark street and there were three VERY young girls with him.  Oh, how my heart broke when I saw them light up a cigerrette to share.  "Where are these young people's parents?" I thought.  I felt like I NEEDED to say something to them!!  As I passed them, I handed them a Gospel tract.  One of the young girls approached me to receive the tract.  I said to her, "Please don't do anything tonight that you'll regret later."  She lowered her gaze, as did the other three young people.  I continued, "And before you do anything, think of your mother!"   I went home and begged God to make them read that tract, and to get in contact with me through the contact information.  I went to bed that night with a heavy heart.

There's no telling how many times we pass people just like that every day.  They're just one step from making a terrible mistake.  Some are just one step from eternity.

But we don't notice because our eyes are turned inwardly. 

My husband and I went out together on Valentine's Day to walk around the town square.  It was a cold night, and we passed an old Indian lady who was standing on a sidewalk next to a cardboard box.  When we walked back around the square toward her, we saw that she had gotten inside the box, had put her hands inside her thin cotton blouse, and had fallen asleep.  How it broke our hearts to see her!  We went to a nearby bakery and bought her a bag of bread.  My husband tapped her on the shoulder and spoke to her.  She opened her eyes and gave us a toothless grin.  She was so grateful for the bread to eat! 

Vendors come to our doors.  How often do we realize that God sent them so we could share His love and the Gospel with them?  We ride in a taxi, and we're so engrossed in our own thoughts and errands of the day, that we don't even think about sharing Christ with the driver.

Hey...get your nose out of your phone.  Take your eyes off of your electronic devices, and lift them up to look at lost souls that pass you every day. You rub shoulders with lost people every day, and yet you have no spiritual interest in them.  When did we become numb to the hurt and the needs of others around us?  There's more to this life than social networks or a "good deal" that we might miss. And I believe we'll give an account one day for all the time wasted on insignificant things that have no eternal value.

Lift up your eyes.  Look at your children's faces when they're talking to you.  Try to see through their little eyes and into their souls and find out what's bothering them.  Talk to them.  Pray with them.

Lift up your eyes. 

"But when he SAW the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them..."  Matthew 9:36a