Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"What Would God Have Me To Do?"

On Monday's radio broadcast, guest Hope Jones stated, "So now I'm a widow with three kids. What would God have me to do?" I was shocked.

Hope endured a childhood steeped in parental drug and alcohol abuse and violence that was a direct result of that abuse. As an adult, she watched her four year old daughter survive an automobile accident that spared her life but took her ability to walk due to an irreversible spinal cord injury. Suffering deep depression following the prognosis, Hope managed to lift her head once again, only to find that her husband had months to live due to a cancer diagnosis. Two years later, she buries him and when asked what the experience was like, she states she turned to God to find out what He would have her do. Yes, her reaction shocked me. Admittedly so, I'm not sure I could be that sacrificial and trusting.

Shortly after asking God what His plans were for her, she organizes McKayla's Faith Foundation and now raises money to assist other families that are coping with childhood disabilities. Concerning the organization, she says, "(It) is to inspire kids no matter what life has thrown at them. We feel it is so important for kids to feel like they are a part of something. We are dedicated to enabling all children to live life to the fullest. To experience life in all of it's glory and suffering. Life was meant to be lived."

This intrigues me. To look adversity in the face and not back down takes a strong person. Or perhaps it is strong faith that allows an individual to stand unwavering. Either way, I was challenged, and I want to throw this challenge out to my listeners.

John 3:16 states "For God so loved the world that He gave...." If you are a believer, it is a natural response to suffering to give out of love and compassion. However, setting faith aside, basic humanity says we can't turn our backs on the suffering of another. So no matter where your religious affiliation is, or what your idea of reaching out means, let me offer this proposition.

We are perched on the brink of 2012. If everyone purposed to ask what they could give to others, or if each individual asked God what He would have them to do, or if we even made the decision to be more aware of the suffering of others, can you imagine what the world would look like next December? Think about the lives you alone could impact by allowing yourself to be touched and moved by the weaknesses of someone else. Your future is still unwritten. You can decide whether to live it selfishly and unmotivated or if you will live with purpose and destination.

As a writer, I love these words to Natasha Bedingfield's song Unwritten:

Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

What will you do with 2012?

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Are you ready for the challenge? Today is where your book begins.