Today, I came to the realization that I need to stop only focusing on the issues happening across the world when there are people here who need to be shown God's love as well. At the Faith and International Development conference this past weekend, I learned so much about social injustice in other countries, and my heart cries out for those countries. It's just not fair how so much wealth and so much poverty can coexist under God's authority. The same thing with Haiti, it's not fair. I feel like America is such a blessed country that I tend to only cry out for those across the world, and ignore what's happening here.
Today has been a strange day. I became aware of how much suffering and pain there is amongst my peers. I am looking at people with a new perspective. I am asking God to give me his eyes to see the world and people the way he sees, with love and compassion. So, I laid down for a nap before my western civ class, but instead it turned into laying down before God in meditation. I had the song Desert Storm by Hillsong stuck in my head, so I was reflecting on the words of the song, basically saying that no matter what I may be going through, I will always have a reason to praise God. I laid there in silence, asking God to come into my heart and consume me, and fill me with love to love others the way he does. I ended up not sleeping at all, but the neat thing was that I still felt awake in class. I didn't doze off at all, even though I was so tired before. God sustains us, and He did to me today.
I feel like I have been taking in so much information, especially from the conference and from the "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster (the book I'm reading for COR), and I've been asking God what I'm supposed to be doing with all this information. Later, a friend calls me asking if I could talk. I knew I had homework I had to do, and a bible study to go to later, but I felt lead to put everything aside and listen, so I did. She is heart-broken right now, and it turned out that she needed someone to listen to her. I was able to talk to her through her situation and help her calm down a little bit, and then I prayed for her. Then, it was almost time for dinner, and I realized that I didn't have time to prepare anything for this bible study that I started, not to mention it was our first meeting. I turned to God, asking that He would guide us through the study, and He did. Everyone was very involved, and we have an awesome time in fellowship and studying and analyzing God's word.
I also have another friend who said he was going through a rough time today, and so we prayed for him along with the other prayer requests in the bible study. Then, later this same night, another friend was upset and also going through a rough time, so I sat down and talked with her for awhile. After asking God to fill me with a compassion for others, I feel like more and more opportunities are being placed in front of me, and I do not want to pass them up. I'm supposed to be reading a book for my COR class, but I feel like God has been challenging my faith a lot, seeing if I will take the opportunities presented to me.
It would have been so much easier to ignore my friends and focus on getting my homework done, but it is much more rewarding doing God's work and making yourself available to be an example of Christ to others. It comes down to the question, do I trust that God will provide/sustain me with the energy I need to focus on my homework if I make myself available to be used by Him first? We are called to be missionaries, and witnesses, and if we think that we don't have time to do God's work because other things are more important, than how dare we call ourselves Christ followers?
It took a leap of faith to make God and others my top priority, but it was definitely worth it, and I have faith that God will send blessings to those who do so. I fear not being able to be used by God to the fullest because of the interference of my own human desires. When we receive the same amount of joy from helping a friend or stranger where we are now than helping someone across the world, that is when we can experience true love and compassion.