We have had the rainiest summer I can remember this year and consequently, it is hard to keep the grass mowed. Every time Michael plans to mow, it rains or has just rained and is still too wet. Every time we have a dry day, we have other things that have to be done. We are just very busy right now and much of the time, it feels like we are being pulled in way too many directions.
Anyway, Michael had youth group tonight, so I decided to surprise him while he was gone and mow the yard. I have sneaked and mowed the yard before and he always does that whole manly, "Why did you do that? You shouldn't be out mowing the yard!" thing, but I know he appreciates it, so I like to try to surprise him. I mowed the small strip of grass we have on the left side of our driveway and started on the main front yard. I had finished one strip, when our neighbor (who I have known pretty much my whole life since we live in my childhood house) walked over and asked if he could mow the yard. I said, "Oh no, I'm just fine. My husband just hasn't had time with the rain, so I thought I'd help him out." He kept insisting and said that's what neighbors are for, so I finally let him do it (since he had a riding lawn mower that took much less time than my push mower).
Now, I can't even explain how much I appreciated the gesture. I didn't have to push the mower around the yard in the muggy heat and I know it took a lot of stress off of Michael when he saw that the grass was mowed. We were both so thankful! You don't see neighbors doing things like that for each other much anymore. My neighbor is a nice guy and I know he knows the Lord, but I wonder if he knows that God used him tonight.
I was thinking, later, about how God uses people.
He can use us to do great things in people's lives. He can use us to change people's lives. God used Jesus to change lives while He was here on this earth.. Think of all the miracles He did--He healed people, he fed a huge crowd with a little bit of food, he turned water into wine, provided the disciples with a large catch of fish....all very practical things. People realized that He cared about their needs, that He cared about the things they cared about. Those kinds of miracles are the kind that change lives, that bring lasting change.
Today, some people say that God is doing miracles in the form of sending gold dust raining down on certain churches, or people finding gold teeth in their mouths. Some people see "orbs" that they consider to be angels, or claim to see religious statues crying, and really all manner of wild sounding things. I can pretty freely say that I don't consider those things to be signs of the one, true God. They also don't create lasting change in the people who supposedly see these things. Memorable, yes. Hype inducing, yes. Life changing, no.
We can let God use us to change lives and to turn people to Him. Do you know what a person who is dying of thirst wants the most? They want a cup of water. What about a person who is hungry? Or sick? Or needs clothing and shelter? Or maybe someone who simply needs their yard mowed? God cares about even that seemingly small thing.
We can give people food, water, clothing, shelter. We can lay our hands on them and pray for them to be healed. We can give someone a shoulder when they need to cry. We can pray for someone who really needed prayer right that minute. Those are lasting miracles--when God guides us to the right person just in the nick of time and uses us to take care of a need. Those are the kind of miracles that make people thankful and grateful to a God who cares enough to take care of us. The kind that make people think, 'Hmm....if God cares about me that much, I want to get to know him.' Those are the kind of miracles God did through Jesus.
I want God to use me....to show me the need and help me to take care of it. I want to be His hands and feet. I want to see Him change lives for forever!