Life keeps everyone busy, and sometimes people miss the small things that can impact their community. God is always searching for individuals who make themselves available to Him. He wants and is willing to do great things through people who allow him to use their gifts and talents to transform the world. Jesus is our perfect example in this, and when people demonstrate the love of Jesus, they can bless others with a simple act of kindness.
As senior pastor of the Duluth district, I recently witnessed the mighty hand of God working through people who allowed Him to use them. Not everyone can be a pastor, elder, deacon, deaconess or other leadership position. However, God can use anyone to make a difference regardless of who they are in the community.
The Duluth Church has its fellowship hall down in the basement. The stairs have several steps that lead to the entrance. This can be challenging for members with disabilities, particularly during potluck and social events. Therefore, last year I suggested to the Church Board that we think about installing a chairlift to meet the needs of our members and potential guests with disabilities. After many discussions, the board tabled the idea for a later time, as they wanted to focus on other necessary projects.
Three months later, the Lord impressed me to preach a sermon about doing what is right in the sight of God regardless of what other people think. If God shows someone what to do, this individual has received an assignment to make a difference.
As I stood at the door that day greeting everyone on their way out, one person asked me if I could spare some time for a conversation. I took the individual aside and was ready to listen. This individual shared about how challenging it must be for members with disabilities to go downstairs. This individual had the opportunity to witness the struggle of those with disabilities trying to get downstairs for potluck. Then this person said, “Pastor Jude, I have a compassionate heart and a soft spot for disabled people. I care so much for them. No matter where I am, I always try to help if I can. I have been praying about this, and your sermon today was my confirmation. Therefore, Pastor, if you are willing and the church is ok with that, I would like to donate $10,000 toward a chairlift project. However, I must remain anonymous. It’s not about me, instead about God.”
Praise the Lord! I could not believe my ears. This individual knew nothing about what we discussed in the Church Board meeting regarding the chairlift. Indeed, it was a confirmation for me as well. All along, God wanted that chairlift for His church.
I could not wait to share that information with the Church Board. Indeed, the board was amazed and praised the Lord for such a blessing. The church’s head deacon began the process by contacting the chairlift company. Then three days before the company installed the chairlift, this individual donated an extra $3,000 toward the chairlift project. Praise the Lord!
We serve an excellent, extraordinary, loving and caring God. The Bible says, “Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps” (Jer. 10:23). God has His clock, and His timing is perfect. Therefore, we have no reason to doubt Jesus’ love for us. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). That love stretches back before the foundation of the world. God desires to take care of us if we let Him. So, when we make ourselves available to God, He takes good care of us, and others will experience His love and compassion through us. Here is a good reminder: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12).
We can make a difference in our community. Indeed, we praise our heavenly Father for His unconditional love and the wonderful blessing He has given to the Duluth Church. This chairlift reminds us of the compassionate spirit we must show one another and a heavenly Father who cares about every step we take, even going to the basement in the fellowship hall.
Jude Senatus pastors the Duluth Seventh-day Adventist Church in Duluth, Minnesota.