Monday, October 6, 2008

Finding True Life

In Matthew 16:25, Jesus makes a statement that is a bit puzzling. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." It's a bit puzzling until you actually walk it out, and in doing so find it to be so true. Over the course of the last few weeks, life here in southeast Texas has been a little crazy. Things are beginning to get back to normal for many, while others will face months and perhaps even years before things resemble anything close to normal.

In the aftermath of Ike, we've found ourselves with an opportunity to prove this scripture to be true. I don't know of one individual here who wasn't affected in one way or another by this storm. Yet, by in large most people I know began looking beyond themselves in an effort to find someone who needed a helping hand. Whether is was helping with clean up, buying food and supplies for those in need, standing in line at the FEMA pods for someone else, or driving in search of gas for neighbors. People just lived quite unselfishly.

Our church was notified of a family who had left to escape the storm and when they returned found their apartment completely cleaned out. Beds, furniture, clothes, toys, everything completely gone. Once notified, our small church got busy. Within just a few days, that family had new beds, living room furniture, food, and plenty of clothes. I had the privilege of being the delivery man, and I have to tell you I learned first hand that it is when we forget ourselves and live for someone else that we truly find life. I'll never forget the look on the faces of those three young children as we dropped off the clothes, food, and furniture. It was worth more than all the money this world has to offer.

We travel through life so often, striving for things we think will bring us fulfillment and satisfaction in this life. In the end they never do. The words Jesus spoke hold the key to that deep desire in all of us to find fulfillment. Only when we begin to lose our life do we truly find life. Think about the times in life when you've felt most fulfilled and I'm sure you'll find it was those moments when you placed someone else's needs before yourself. Those moments when you've sacrificed for someone else.

The key, of course, is learning to live there and not just visit every once in awhile. When sacrificial living becomes a way of life, then we'll be living right where we were created to live. And we'll find those words of Jesus to ring so true.

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