The Simple Joy of Being Available

25. February 2014 20:27

Use me Lord

To anyone passing by, they just looked like two copy paper boxes. If you were a little more observant, you might have noticed that each box appeared to be full of random food items. A loaf of bread in this box, cup of noodles in that one.

But to one couple, it’s salvation.

To one family it’s proof of Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

For one father, it’s proof that God never intended for us to worry; we only have to ask.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6)

David and I live a hectic life. We each work two jobs. David works as a therapeutic behavioral specialist for a social services firm in San Bernardino County. I write for various publications. We’re both youth pastors. If we aren’t at work or doing work, then we’re receiving text messages and phone calls about work. We hustle from one event to another, there are meetings for something every week, and in our “down time” we are often swamped with planning events and teachings or paperwork.

We don’t get much time to spend together as husband and wife. I’ll leave it up to you to imagine how much time we feel like there is left to make ourselves available to God for anything else.

We were taking a quick break to have tea together one morning before dashing off to a staff meeting at church when I received a text message. It was my mom asking if our church still had a food ministry.

My first thought as I read the text to Dave was worry for my mom.

Turns out, she was not asking for herself.

I grew up with very generous parents. It is not something that I took much notice of as a child, but whenever we would pass by someone in need my mom would always give what very little money she could spare. People in need only have to tell my dad that they’re struggling before he is thinking of ways to help them.

I do not know how hard life was when my parents were growing up but I remember going with my mom to the food bank when I was a little girl. I know that my parents did not always know how they were going to feed us. I know that people helped us. I know that God always made sure we had what we needed.

When it came to generosity, there was no shortage of good role models in our home. So the next text message I received was no surprise.

Through a work conversation, my mom happened to discover that one of her co-workers, a man who had only recently been hired, was desperately struggling each evening to figure out how he was going to feed his family the next day. Married with six children, the man and his wife were having a difficult time bridging the gap that occurs with a change of jobs.

“Does your church still have a food ministry?”

Heck yeah, we do!

In a brief text message, we received details of how many children and the age of the youngest child. Then I told my mom that we would pack up some food while at church for our meeting and bring it to her office.

It was going to be hard to make it work. Staff meetings run from 11:00 until 12:30, if everything runs on schedule. Dave had to leave for work (an hour away) no later than 1:00, mom works 15 minutes away and we only have 1 car.

That is not counting the time it would take to pack the food.

Do you know what God does when you make being available to Him a priority, despite an insanely busy personal schedule?

Do you know what God will do to take care of the people He created; who bear His image?

God cancels staff meetings. God makes sure that there is enough food and even hygiene products to care for a family of 8. God even makes sure there are cookies for the kids. God provides grocery store gift cards.

Is there anything God will not do to take care of people?

It does not matter if this family believes in God or not. God is real and He cared that they were struggling.

For one couple, it means they no longer have to worry so much about how they will feed their children.

People are afraid to ask for help. They do not want to seem “weak”, “worthless”, or “lazy”. However, they will not necessarily say “no” if help is offered.

They didn’t ask for it. It was offered to them freely. It was not a reward for hard work, though I am told the husband works very hard. It was provision for a need.

It was just a couple of boxes of food and a couple of people being available to God even before we knew how we would fit it into our schedule.

There is a great deal of joy to experience when we make being available to God a priority.

Are you offering help to the people around you? Do you make yourself available to God?


Jennifer Arman is a pastor and blogger whose motivation is to speak challenging yet encouraging messages. She currently lives in Ontario, California with her husband David, studies ministry and leadership at Life Pacific College and has a passion to see people embrace a life of total faith. Find her on Facebook and check out her blog 1 Radical Life.

(Image credit: Jennifer Arman )

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