Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Representing Hope

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

Our city has endured a lot in this past week. There are STILL people without power. Over the weekend, and Sunday night, we had temperatures in the 20's. (Which is not the norm for here.)
People are on edge. Some have lost hope. They feel like no one sees them or understands. But I know that we are all trying. 
When the Red Cross got here last week, they were shocked by how much churches had already done. THAT is what being the body is Christ is! Churches should be those type of first responders. We should go out in our community and help in any way we can. 
Last Tuesday was the first day light after the storm. No one realized just how bad it was. Once we saw, we went to work. We weren't able to get to everyone that first day. So many trees were down that people were actually stuck at home. My son tried to go get two of his friends from their apartment but couldn't get to them because of the trees covering the roads.
Now, a week later, we have the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief team and Samaritan's Purse here. Churches have joined together to hold prayer times, as well as distribute food. One of my best friends started a distribution center for clothes, blankets, jackets, and more.  He's also had teams out taking things to people who can't leave home.
For my birthday, I was given a Beth Moore book called "Whispers of Hope A 10 day prayer journal". I have not kept up with it each day, but today I did day 7.
I want to share something with you. She said, "Wouldn't it be something if our lives became living stones exposing the empty tombs- the proof Jesus lives? What if people were convinced we worship a living Savior simply by watching the effervescent life of the Spirit in us?"
I fully believe that's what's happening in Albany, Georgia. I have heard of people giving their lives to Christ, because a stranger came to cut tress out of their yard and told them that God loves them. 
When people are given something they need, they realize they are cared about. They see our community coming together. I see Jesus all over town because people are being his hands and feet.
You should see the Facebook posts, "I need help here." and a few minutes later, there is a response, "We'll be there in a few minutes."
This storm hit ALL over town. In the poorest areas, and in some of the nicest areas. It was not selective. The rich man with a tree in his roof is in need of help, just like the people in the concrete houses I took stuff to who are without power. I almost cried when people starting coming out those houses bundled up. I lived in a concrete apartment once that used to be a garage. It's cold. 
Beth Moore also wrote, "To really live we need passion for Jesus and purpose to serve Him. Passion and purpose fulfill more of our human needs than health or wealth. Plenty of healthy and wealthy people feel dead, meaningless, and hopeless. We represent hope to people who may have given up on finding real life."
You, as a Christian, represent HOPE! Did you know that? People need you to show them hope. They need to hear hopeful words. Because when hope is kept from people, it makes their heart sick.
Will you join me in giving hope to people? I pray you do.
God bless you today and always!

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