Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Gift of Life

James Paul is a staff member with Samaritan’s Purse in Haiti.

Life is a beautiful gift that we often mistreat. We’re blinded by personal desires and worldly ambitions. We often complain when we should give thanks, and we cry when we should praise. All over the world, people are without the opportunities we have; yet we only see ourselves.

We complain about not having the food we want, but as I work here in Haiti I see people who don’t have any food at all. We’ll only drink cold water, but there are people here who have to drink from dirty canals. We have a different pair of shoes for every outfit we wear, but I see people walking through the streets with bare feet. While we have all the comforts we want in our homes, there are people who live on these streets—burned by the sun during the day and washed by the rain at night.

As followers of Christ, think about what God has given you. Are you still asking for more? Should we instead start giving to others? Life is beautiful, but we live in a dark, ugly world. It’s up to us as Christians to be a shining light in this dark world.

Let’s not live to please ourselves. Let’s please God. He has freed us from our chains, saving us from the wages of sin and birthing us into life with hope. The blood of Christ should be our reminder that we have a mission to share the Good News. We should die to ourselves so that the spirit of the living God may dwell in us to cleanse us of our mishaps and to renew us in mind, body, and spirit.

We’re blessed. Our God hears us when pray, and, more importantly, He answers us. If we focus on others, we can spread salvation. Christ teaches the way, and as students, we need to become teachers so that we can also teach the way. Fellow brothers and sisters, praise the Lord. Praise Him when you’re hungry, praise Him with a full stomach, praise Him in health, and praise Him in illness.

To survive in this world, we need to focus on Christ and one another. We need to not only look like Christ but also to feel like Christ and to be like Christ, lending a helping hand when it’s needed.

We should be bold. We’re not born leaders, but we become leaders through Christ, in Christ, and for Christ. Let’s become mentors of the Gospel, examples for our children and neighbors.

Working for Samaritan’s Purse, it’s easy to say, “I’m a Samaritan.” Rather than just saying it, let’s show that we are by caring for other people. Samaritan’s Purse is doing it in Haiti by providing clean water and livelihoods and meeting medical needs, among other things. Keep in mind that the challenges ahead are greater than those of the past, but in Christ, all is well for those who pray and obey.

May the light of God shine within all who read this.