I Needed This Today
It was a hot summer day and I had been waiting for the sun to take the back seat. It finally did so I grabbed my caddy filled with car washing detergents, glass cleaner, clean rags, Armor All, and paper towels, and I set out for the driveway where my old, 2001 Buick Park Avenue awaited its bi-monthly bath.
Washing my car by myself had been something I had never, ever committed to. I had always driven it to the car wash on El Cajon Boulevard, paid them their fifteen to twenty dollars, and called it done. But one day I realized that I had the time to do this and the ability to do it better. So I adopted yet another chore to my life’s responsibilities.
Had I known that this exercise would have produced such physical pleasure and spiritual bounty, I would have insisted on it years ago. In my naivety, I assumed the commitment would take up too much of my precious time. Our assumptions are not always correct. Today I learned that I may have indeed lost some very valuable insights as two independent thoughts collided while I was working on the final dry and I experienced a total blessing.
First of all, I had been thinking of a passage of Scripture where Jesus said to His disciples in John chapter 4:3&4 – and I must share this from the KJV because it’s so precise – “He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.” Here it is, “And he must needs go through Samaria.” Now, we need to understand that Samaria was a region that was a low-life territory to the self-righteous, pious Jews. And yet, Jesus said, “ Look boys, I don’t care what the Jews think about the Samaritans. I’ve got an inclination to go there because I am 100% about my Father’s business and I’m feeling it. So we’re going. Buck up. Get past your taboos – we’re on our way. We’re spreading love.
Well, when He got there, lo and behold, an opportunity comes for Him to meet face to face with a woman who really needed to meet Him face to face. And when she did, she ran back to her village and in that one day – all of the village – all of them we blessed. Not just a little blessed, but blessed to the maximum. They all met Jesus – their lives were changed – not just for time, but for eternity.
None of that would have happened had not Jesus been completely sensitive to the calling in his soul. “He must needs go.” That is such the best phrase. There is no doubt that it was the Holy Spirit working in the life of Jesus that said to Him in His soul – “Jesus? You need to do this. Just go. Forget about everything else. Just go.” Friends, this is the prompting of the Holy Spirit and lest we think that this activity is limited to Jesus, we must think again – this activity is meant for all of us! Sometimes we sense this stirring and we are the ones who need to say, “I must needs go.” “I must needs write.” “I must needs say.” We are wise when we do – if we are walking with the Lord Jesus Christ in our spiritual lives. (Ephesians 2:10 – 1 John chapter 1.) He takes us to places and spaces, thoughts and conversations that we, on our own would never dare to go. Just like the disciples – sometimes those places are taboo.
Well, all this to go back to my early morning which began at 5:30 am. I took my coffee, Bible, devotional, and journal and made my way to those early morning skies. Oh, friends. Have you ever done that? Have you ever risen with the sun? There are gifts in that journey. I sat on the rattan love seat and read J. Sidlow Baxter, Daniel chapter 7, and 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and looked up to the sky and saw the sun cast a shadow of peach under those early morning clouds. All of a sudden I too felt what Jesus must have felt —– I must needs go. So I made a post on my Facebook page and lo and behold I saw a response that simply said, “I needed this today.”
I truly do believe that when we are walking with God, He will lead, guide, and direct us. It will not always be about what makes us feel good or fix every little issue that needs fixin’. But He will never waste the journey we take with Him. If you can have a part in someone’s life that says, “I needed this today.” Then you have listened to those compelling words of the Lord, “I must needs go.”
Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past
by C.T. Studd
Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way; bringing conviction to my heart, and from my mind would not depart.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, the still small voice, Gently please for a better choice, Bidding me selfish aims to leave, and to God’s holy will to cleave.
God’s ways are such a paradox – when we surrender to them, we give up our own will. That relinquishing would seem to be a bad idea because oh, how we love to control everything. Those disciples would have been happy to take the long way and not step foot in Samaria. But look at what would have not happened! On that day, everyone was blessed, Jesus, the disciples, the woman, and her entire village. As my daddy has said so many times before, “If we knew what God knows, we would do what He does.” Our Father always knows best.
Obedience brings blessings all around! “I needed that today!” No kidding.