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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A God Story

Another God Story from a UBFM member:

I think we have as many reasons for participating in UBFM as there are riders; probably more, because I definitely have more than one.  One is definitely all the awesome friends I’ve made among the riders.  I wanted to take the chance to write a little about the reason I wanted to be a part of this when I heard about it (before I knew about the cool people), and my main purpose in continuing to participate.
Something Tommy said in his post last Wednesday really made an impression on me and inspired me to write this:
“It is a fact that we are not going to cure the hunger or homeless problem in our city. We are doing very little to help it. To be honest, that is not our focus. Our focus is to offer hope to people who have lost it.”
While I absolutely think feeding the poor/homeless is important, I’m under no illusion that giving someone a burrito and a moon pie is going to have a lasting effect on their life.  We can show them that there are people out there who care enough to take an evening and bring them some food when they’re hungry or a jacket when they’re cold. The fact is tomorrow will come and that will be overshadowed by the reality of all those who drive past and look at them as failures, and those who avoid them as they walk through the parking lot to their cars.
However, God has given them the gift of his son Jesus—a gift that is infinitely valuable.  What I can do is show them the love that Jesus has shown me and point to the hope that I have:
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.   1 Peter 1:3-4
My transgressions against God are paid for and my punishment is borne by his death.  The ability to live this life and to have the joy of spending eternity with a perfect, awe-inspiring God are won by the fact the God raised Him from the dead.  That’s a hope that transcends the difficulties of poverty and defies the instability of our temporary situation.  It’s a hope they can have because of what Jesus has done. 
The reality is so many people who are seen as successful are not actually doing what they were created to do. 
He [Jesus] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.  Colossians 1:15
Our friends living on the street can actually live fulfilled lives knowing they are doing exactly what they were created for.  In fact they may be better able to do it than those who seem more privileged at first glance.  Jesus, who was the perfect example of what a person should be, spent a lot of his life without a home:
And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."  Matthew 8:20
The great thing about UBFM is that actions so often speak louder than words.  I am thankful for the opportunity to show people that I (and someone who is a lot bigger and more important than me) really care about them.  For my part I also want to share with them the hope and joy I have in God.  How I can do that in the 30 second conversations I have with them as I hand them a burrito I’m not sure, but I know even small actions can make an eternal difference.   I’m also going to try to be more open to those who may need a little more of my time and let whoever I’m with ride on without me and help others.
Today I’m praying that all these I see who have had to endure much more hardship than I have, will be able to say:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-10
I’m excited for tonight!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.   Romans 15:13