I woke up at 2 a.m. Now, I’m not a 2 a.m. or even a 5 a.m. kind of girl. If I wake up, it’s not because I’m an early riser.
I had went to bed troubled. The task in front of me seemed impossible. I was to speak at an event but leave the God factor out of it.
It seemed like a big obstacle. Because the God factor is the foundation of the transformation and healing I’ve received. If I spoke about the practical (important), or the how-to without sharing what Christ had done, it’s only a tenth of the story.
As I rested in bed, staring at the ceiling God whispered a word: Zaccheus.
So I climbed out of the warm covers and snuggled in a chair and flipped open the Bible. Within a few short paragraphs the anxiousness slipped away.
In Luke 19:1-10 I read the familiar story of the short tax collector who climbed in a tree out of curiousity to see Jesus.
My habit is to read a few passages before and a few passages after for context, and it was in the verses before that the real story began.
You see, Jesus was walking with his disciples when a poor blind beggar began to scream out his name. Jesus stopped everything to stand before that man, to touch his eyes, and to transform his life. He was so transformed that he immediately began to follow Jesus.
The next day Jesus is on his way to Jericho. The town is excited that he’s on the way and a crowd has gathered. Zaccheus is intrigued. He’s a tax collector, a man of influence and power and wealth. He climbs a tree to get a good look.
And what does Jesus’ do?
Exactly what he did for the beggar. He stops everything. He stands before Zaccheus and the man is transformed by that encounter.
As I sat in the shadows at 2 a.m., God spoke clearly to this troubled daughter.
“I don’t see wealth. I don’t see power. I don’t see circumstances. I don’t see obstacles. I only see people. Your job is to do what you’ve been asked to do. Love the person in front of you, no matter what. Let me do the rest.”
With a light heart I went back to sleep.
And now that the events of the past two weeks are behind me, I get it. I stood before people of wealth and those that were not wealthy. I ate with those who loved Jesus and those who did not. I laughed with those who were intrigued by Christianity, with those who distrusted it, and with those whe had been completely changed by his love.
And Jesus saw each of them.
Has God called you to love others? To do a task that seems challenging? Are you encountering new friends that just don’t understand your faith?
Just love them. Stop for them. Do what you’ve been asked to do.
And let God do the rest.