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What is God telling you?

Our friend Mia McLaughlin, who has traveled to Haiti several times with us, wrote on her blog Eternal Heart about listening to what God is trying to tell us. Turns out, it is something pretty simple.

Talking to Jesus

By Mia McLaughlin

Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.
—Matthew 25:40

In Matthew 25, we read the parable of the sheep and the goats. I don’t know if I understand it fully even now, but I do know that putting clothes on the bodies of the naked and food in the bellies of the hungry is a good, good thing to do. There’s no debate, no confusion. It’s exactly what Jesus did.
—Yvrose Ismael, Becoming Mama

I should no longer be surprised at God’s abundant and clear presence in Haiti. Firstly, God’s voice is clearest in the stillness of desperation. God’s presence is being called upon every minute of every day. But secondly, being the sheep in Matthew 25 makes Jesus see us as righteous. It is no wonder I feel God’s presence among my Haitian friends—they are Jesus. The Bible says, whatever you do for the least of these, you did for me. That is clear: I am directly feeding and clothing and building shelter for Jesus. That is why His presence is so clearly with me there. And all the things I have learned from the Haitian people? That’s Jesus too. Jesus speaks to me all the time. As it turns out, I’ve actually heard quite a few words from Jesus himself. These words have just come through Haitian orphans and widows, Ugandan college students, homeless people coming through the soup kitchen. I wonder if I’ve listened enough. Probably not. I want to soak up every single word Jesus has to tell me. And I want to talk to Him more. I want to be around Him, all the time.

A few years ago, I was on a trip to Haiti with the Valor team. We were doing a women’s luncheon; we had invited 15–20 widows from the neighborhood for a big lunch, and a spa session. One of my fellow team members asked one of the ladies a question that I think we should ask everybody in our lives at least once: “Do you know that Jesus loves you?” The sweet widow’s response came without hesitation: “Yes. And that is why I am still living.” I remember that moment so fondly and clearly. But I wonder now what Jesus himself was trying to tell me in that moment. Maybe it was something like, “My love will sustain you always, my child.” Or maybe, “Lean on my love—it is the only consistent promise you will have in this life.” I think mostly, Jesus was telling me that His love for me is enough.

Jesus doesn’t tell me to spark a reformation, or to change the world. In fact, it would be better if not a single person knew my name. All He asks is for me to bow my spirit to Him, and feed the hungry. And so I live my life the way I do not because I want an easier life, or because I want more favor, or because I want to make a noticeable difference. I live my life the way I do because every moment of every day I want to be closer to Jesus. I have no ideas more brilliant or world-changing than those of Jesus: Love one another. Serve the least of these. So maybe I’ll have the most successful school in Haiti one day, and maybe I will see Haiti become an emerging country by 2030. I hope so. But maybe I won’t. Either way, my mission and my life (and my Jesus) stays the same. Either way, I will feed the hungry, visit the prisoner, and shelter the homeless. Either way, I will lean into the poor with an open ear, because I want to be closer to Jesus. I will not find Jesus’ presence or pleasure on the other side of a successful business of a world-recognized legacy. So I don’t want it. I will experience Jesus and sense His pleasure in the precious moments I spend with His children—especially the needy ones.

That news is a relief for you, too. You don’t have to be college educated, a certain age, at a certain stage in life, know the Bible better than the next person. We can find Jesus at any point in our lives. There is literally nothing preventing us from being able to speak to Jesus today. There are needy people everywhere, and more than that, God’s children are all around us. Nothing could ever interfere with God’s “plan” or God’s will for us, because His will is so much more clear than we make it out to be. His will for my life, and your life, is to pour out all my love to God’s children. His will for my life, and for your life, is to serve the least of these. I think we can all find some peace in that. If we ever feel like we’ve strayed from God, all we have to do is love people harder and serve the needy more.

What is God nudging you to do today?

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