Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Joy of Making Others Weep

Today I watched a grown man cry. In fact, I made him cry. But I did not cry with him. In fact, I laughed. The more tears he wiped away, the more I laughed. Such cruelty. Such hardness. Not really. Not this time.

The man cried for joy. A little more than a month ago he lost his car to a hit and run driver. When some acquaintances in the United States learned of his plight, they were moved with compassion and to action. They took up a love offering and sent it with me to him. So I was the messenger for this dear brother. So the man cried and I laughed, all of it for the joy of the Lord.

He kept saying, "I knew God would take care of me; I never expected it to be all at once." And he would cry some more; I would laugh some more. Before long, his tears gave way to laughter, too.

After all, we serve that kind of God. Sometimes, when the chips are down, when we don't know which way to turn or what to do, God shows up. He scoops up a handful of whatever we need and sends it our way. Sometimes that is something tangible, like money. Sometimes it is hope. Sometimes it is peace. It's always exactly what we need for the moment.

Don't misunderstand me. God did not bless this man instantaneously. The man has struggled for more than a month. His car was his livelihood. He drives for a living. No car, no money; no money, no food. No food, no rent, no lights, no water, nothing. But God is good. And God saw his faithfulness in spite of the severe trial he faced. And God answered with a physical blessing.

I also know that sometimes God says, "Not this time." I don't always know why God does that. But I do know that many times God holds back the blessings to teach us that, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Faith in God's words is more important than faith in God's blessings.

But this was one of those times that God let us see a blessing unfold. And it was a wonderful occasion. The man left here with a spring in his step and a stronger hope in his heart.

Who knows; maybe you can go make someone cry today. If you do, be sure it brings fruits of faith in the person's life.

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