Friday, December 26, 2008

Fruit

The Lord calls us to plant seeds and never really promises to show us the fruit of our labor. So we go about life living for Christ and spreading the Gospel in faith that He will bring about the fruit that we may never see. There are these special moments though when we see it, when God reveals to us the work He has done through us and by us, in those moments it is a true reward. There is nothing more pleasing to me than seeing the fruit of a faithful labor, there is nothing that makes me happier than seeing and hearing stories of people affected by Jesus and fully sold out because of it.

“The devil can’t handle me…that’s why I’m going through this.”

One of my favorite quotes to end the year. Her kidneys are failing and she has lost a drastic amount of weight, the picture is pretty muted for her. What a beautiful picture of faith though. Her name is Maria. Almost like a child who is excited about their birthday she exclaimed to me yesterday on the ride down to a friend’s house, “You know I’ve been saved for almost two years now!” I don’t know if I see anyone enjoy what they are doing more than when I see Maria on a Sunday morning helping out with the kids. She’s a true servant. She says the devil can’t handle her…this makes me smile from ear to ear! She gets it, she gets that she is living for Christ and no matter what happens, even if her kidneys fail tomorrow she is faithful and sees herself as a threat to the enemy. Maria didn’t know anything about Jesus when she first started coming to IMC, but she loved playing with the kids. Through that she met folks who answered questions she had and now she is following Jesus with all her life.

Maria was in the backseat while Jazz occupied the front seat beside me. I asked Jazz her story and she said about 2 years ago she came back to the Lord because she was just lost and had come back home. She grew up a Christian and was even a missionary in her younger days, but somehow fell away from the Lord. She said it had been 2 years since she started following the Lord. Her eyes were filled with joy as she told the story of getting baptized last year on Father’s day.

They both said how they started going to this church service on Sunday mornings around the same time as one of our dearly beloved friends who has moved on to be with Jesus, June. Both Jazz and Maria live in a building full of all kind of things like drugs, alcohol, abuse, terminal illness, and physical disabilities. Their stories are light in that dark building.

This guy got a burden for the city of Indianapolis about 5 years ago, resigned from his pastoral role and moved from the sunny coast of Jacksonville, FL to downtown Indianapolis with a burden and a dream. God moved me to follow him up here and start this church. Over a year we saw a team building and now almost 2 and a half years after we moved here with many others and partnered with a lot of great people in this city, we are seeing and hearing these stories.

I just smiled and listened the entire car ride back downtown from my friend’s house as they told more and more stories about all Jesus had done in their lives. I don’t think they see it as a big deal, they probably won’t even remember that car ride, but I tell you the truth, that was one of those moments where God pulled back the curtain and showed me what He has been doing. You don’t always get to see the fruit and just work with faith. It is truly rewarding when God shows you the fruit though. Maria and Jazz both have striking stories of their journeys of faith and I’m thankful God showed me something amazing like that on a car ride. A I drifted to sleep last night I whispered to God, “Thank you for all you’ve done, thanks for showing me.”

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