Sunday as we were driving to church in the morning, it was raining lightly and the forecast called for heavier showers. For the first time in a long time, we were actually early for church. I noticed a man up ahead of us on the left walking through the rain with no umbrella. I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me and telling me to give that man one of our umbrellas. We only had one in the car, but I knew we'd be fine without one. I pointed out the man to my husband and asked him if he thought we should try to give him one of our umbrellas. Sadly, this world that we live in makes me second guess a lot of things. In the back of my mind I'm thinking stupid things like, "I hope he doesn't pull out a gun on us." I could tell my husband was a little hesitant, maybe even a little annoyed because he knew he would be the one doing the talking. I'm not really sure what he was thinking, but he agreed that we could try.
I made a u-turn at the next intersection and we made our way back to the man. We pulled off to the side of the road as he was walking towards us. My husband rolled down the window and asked if he would like an umbrella. The man appeared to be somewhere around 50 years old. He had long grey hair and was wearing a long sleeve shirt and blue jeans. He smiled and kindly said, "No, that's okay." We asked if he was sure and he said yeah. So my husband said okay and possibly something else as we drove away.
As we drove off I fought back tears. There were so many thoughts and emotions going on with me. Why didn't he take the umbrella. I hope my husband wasn't embarrassed. Maybe we just made his day, because someone was so kind to even try to help him out. My mind kept pondering over and over why he didn't accept it, if God truly did put it on my heart to give it to him. My husband suggested that maybe God was just testing my obedience with a smaller thing so that He knows we will be obedient with bigger things.
For days I just couldn't get this situation out of my mind. I prayed about it and asked God for answers. I felt like He was trying to teach me a lesson, but I wasn't sure what the lesson was. I'm still trying to figure it out, but I do believe it's not just one simple lesson. There was so much to be taught here.
Whenever God prompts you to do something for others, remember these facts:
1. You reap what you sow. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." ~ Galatians 6:7 (KJV) Perhaps God was seeing if I would try to sow a good seed when I thought this man was in need, so that the next time I am in need, He can speedily send someone to help me.
Here are a couple more Bible verses that back up the principle of reaping and sowing:
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ~ Luke 6:38 (NIV)
God "will repay each person according to what they have done." ~ Romans 2:6 (NIV)
2. By being obedient to God, you are not denying Him. Regardless of whether or not the other person receives what you are trying to give, whether its a gift, a kind word, or even just a wave or a smile, you can rejoice knowing that YOU did what God wanted you to do. "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good." ~ Titus 1:16 (NIV)
3. If you have children, they are paying attention. I feel like we taught our children a valuable lesson that day. As I turned the car around, our six year old knew something was going on. He asked us what we were doing. I explained to him that we were just going to try to show God's love by seeing if the man wanted an umbrella because he was walking alone in the rain.
4. Expect NOTHING in return! Luke 6:34-36 (ESV) says, "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. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
5. You may be entertaining angels. "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." ~ Hebrews 13:2 Wow, what a thought! The man in the rain could've been an angel! That gives me chills to think about. I cannot make this stuff up. It's right there in God's word.
6. Pride leads to destruction. Last but certainly not least, remember to remain humble and to not boast about what you have done. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
Several days after the incident regarding the man walking in the rain, I was talking to my husband again about what God might be trying to teach me. The very second that I stopped talking, I turned up the radio and heard these words in a song for the very first time:
"It's like I'm standing in the rain
and you offer me a raincoat.
But I would rather stand there being wet
than take the handout.
What's wrong with me?
You said, you've always got your hands out."
So then I started thinking about the man even more. I wonder if he's a broken man in need of a Savior. Could he have possibly smiled at us, but asked himself what's wrong with him as we drove away? I just hope that no matter what God was trying to teach us or that man, that Christ was glorified through that little act of obedience.
If you would like to hear the full song that I heard on the radio, just click on the video.
Be blessed my friends!