"Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you do good for those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men." Luke 6: 30-35There are times when my frustration level reaches a high point... and the past two days are just that. At one of the homes we work with, 3 girls had the opportunity of a lifetime presented to them - the chance to go to a Christian boarding school to take their education to the next level. This news came after much hard work by the Board members of this orphanage. The girls were elated and have worked with me to prepare for the exam for about 4 weeks.
The last few weeks, things turned upside-down for them. The girls began making horrible and inappropriate choices. After a series of conversations, they agreed to settle down early this week. They did not follow through with their commitment. Yesterday, they were sent back to their respective villages to live... their opportunity thrown in the trash.
I will never forget seeing these 3 beautiful girls standing on a rickety dock, waiting to get into a small boat that would carry them to a future across the lagoon. A horrible storm was brewing and I knew they would be soaked by the time they arrived. As the weather continued to get colder, more windy, more rainy, I thought of these 3. How would they weather this one without the physical protection of the orphanage?
What a reminder of the story of the prodigal son! I pray that they return. I pray that God grabs hold of them and gives them a glimpse of what they have left behind.
And as for me... my attitude yesterday was awful. And God brought the words above to Alex and me... words about giving because it is right, not with an anticipated outcome; loving because it is what we are asked to do, not because we want love in return; lending without demand for repayment...
That is what Jesus did for me... and for you... and for these girls. Just like these girls, we have the choice to accept His gift or to walk away and try to do it on our own.
I'm growing and changing more and more every day. And I have a long, long way to go.