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Some time ago I was eating at a Mexican fast food restaurant. As I stood in line for service I noticed in front of me a very poor elderly lady who looked like a street person.

When it came her turn, she ordered some water and one taco. As I sat in the booth right next to her, I couldn't help but observe and be moved with compassion toward her.

Shortly after I had begun my meal I went over to her and asked if I could buy some more food for her lunch. She looked at me and angrily asked, "Who are you?"

"Just a guy who wants to help you," I responded. She ignored me. I finished my meal about the same time she did, and we both got up to leave.

I felt led to give her some money. In the parking lot I approached her and offered her some cash. Her only response to me was, "Stop bothering me." Then, she stormed off.

Immediately, the Lord showed me that this is often the way many of us respond to Him. When He calls out to us, seeking to bless us, we act as though we don't even know Who He is.

We respond to His offer of blessing by asking, "Who are You? What do You want from me?" The Lord, being the gracious God He is, continues to try to bless us. Yet we react by saying, "Stop bothering me." We walk off, just as this lady did, missing out on the rich blessings of the Lord.

It's not the absence of problems that gives us peace; it's God's presence with us in the problems.

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus sent His disciples into all the world, ordering them to preach the Gospel to every creature: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

In Romans 8:38,39 (NIV), the Apostle Paul writes, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

In verse 31 he declares, "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God be for us, who can be against us?" A paraphrase might be, "If God is for us, who cares who is against us?"

In Psalm 145:18 (NIV), we read, "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."

James 4:8 (NIV) admonishes us, "Come near to God and he will come near to you."

In Acts 17:27 (NIV) Paul speaks: "For in him we live and move and have our being."

Thank God that we can, without hesitation and with full confidence, lean on His eternal faithfulness.

Source: An Enemy Called Average by John Mason.
Excerpt permission granted by Insight Publishing

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