“I don’t have 75 cents . . .”
I said this to the man standing next to me who was clearly experiencing homelessness.
And, I didn’t. Who carries actual cash these days?!?!?!?
It was an odd amount to request, but that’s not all he asked . . . He said, “Do you have 75 cents toward a cup of coffee?” Anyone who has followed the economy knows that $.75 MAY get you HALF of a cup of coffee . . .
The next 3 things happened in fast sequence:
- I walked in to the office happy to be free of any danger perceived or otherwise.
- I saw the Keurig outfitted with a large basket of coffee cups.
- I made a cup of coffee, put some creamer in it, grabbed a lid and headed back outside to caffeinate my new acquaintance.
For as many times as I have done this – NEVER BEFORE – there are a thousand moments I passed by. There are a thousand times I heard a request and thought to myself, “I don’t have that,” so I walk by.
This is true in the moments I miss to offer aid as much as it’s true in my OWN HEART, my OWN LIFE.
I think things like this:
I really need control right now – and, I don’t have it. So I give up or give in. I lose hope. I LOSE HEART.
I don’t have the ability to change my circumstance, so I give in to the sadness or the fear.
I don’t have the power to see what is coming next, so I focus intensely on the past. I play scenarios over and over and over again – until I miss everything happening around me.
I don’t have what I feel like I need, and I translate that to mean I have NOTHING.
How shortsighted can I be?
When I realized I didn’t have the coins, but I did have the coffee, a story in scripture popped into my mind.
Peter, who had been with Jesus and was one of the apostles (leaders in the early church), was walking on his way to worship with his friend and a man who had never been able to walk asked Peter and John for some money.
Here’s what Peter said recorded in Acts chapter 3: “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
I’ll give you what I have. I’ll give you what I have.
I don’t have coins, but I have coffee.
I don’t have money, but I have healing.
I don’t have control, but I HAVE JESUS.
In the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk.
In the name of Jesus Christ, my past has no bearing on my future.
In the name of Jesus Christ, my circumstance is temporary and bound by time . . . My God is eternal.
When I don’t feel like I have what I need – I must redefine NEED.
I need Jesus. I need his resurrection. I need his perspective. I need HIS provision, not mine. I NEED HIS SPIRIT SPEAKING TO ME – more bodly than any other voice I hear.
Listen, the man Peter met was healed.
That was so far beyond what he had asked. He asked for money – maybe lunch, but God delighted to heal him and free him.
A mentor of mine said this just yesterday, “When we make ourselves available, God delights to do the impossible through us.”
God delights to do the impossible THROUGH US.
“He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk . . . walking, leaping, and praising God . . . When they realized he was the lame beggar, they were absolutely astounded . . .” (vs 8 & 10)
Is it possible that in your life, right now, God has a healing prepared that you haven’t even asked for? Is it possible that, if you can stop focusing on what you do not have, that God would do the IMPOSSIBLE and you would give him praise? AND, that your praise would lead others to experience the miracles they have not yet dared to ask for?
Neighbor, husband, friend, child, stranger, GOD . . . I will give you what I have. I don’t have coins, but I have coffee.
I don’t have what I think I need, but I have Jesus.