Friday, July 1, 2016

God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called.

At 11pm Tuesday night, I sent out an all-points distress text to my church Lifegroup gal pals.

"Help!  Our air conditioner has stopped working!  What should I do?  Who can I call for service?"

I was quite literally a hot mess in panic mode!  You see, my hubby was flying out of town very early the next morning and would be gone the whole week.  So, the responsibility of fixing our broken a/c would fall on me.  Yikes!!!

By morning, my wonderful friends had chimed in with several service recommendations.  (I love my friends!)  My friend Sharon's stood out, however, because of WHO she recommended I contact...

OK, so there is a back story to all this that I will briefly share.  You see, my friend Sharon, and her husband Steve, are the best people in the whole world.  (They really are!)  They host our weekly church Lifegroup gatherings.  They have a big family with more kids and grandkids than I could ever count.  They have full careers with full schedules to boot.  But most importantly, Steve and Sharon always have time to love on others.  They live every single day best representing Jesus by giving of themselves on behalf of His kingdom.  Not only do I have the grand privilege of knowing and attending the same church as them, my home is enviably situated only three doors down from their home.  They are my most awesome neighbors as well as my good, good friends!  SO BLESSED!

Anyway, this past April, this sweet couple sadly lost their grandchild, Radley, to a very rare form of leukemia.  With respect to the whole family, I will not go into all the heartbreaking details of Radley's physically complex journey, but I will introduce you to someone who was able to put a smile on Rad's face while he was still alive and gracing this earth with his big, beautiful heart.

Meet Ed Newby.  Ed is the owner of All Star A/C and Heating which services the Houston area and surrounding suburbs.  Also, Ed is president of a local non-profit called Operation Snowstorm.  Operation Snowstorm's mission is to bring the joy of a winter wonderland to the doorsteps of terminally ill children facing cancer.  Can you imagine?  Snow in Houston!!!  Snow used as a major blessing!!!  Snow as a way to show God's love, and hope, and joy!!!

Here is a blurb from Operation Snowstorm's website explaining some of their story and intent:

"There are many wonderful charities advocating for childhood cancer, some fighting for a cure while others rally for awareness. Our contribution to such a deserving cause is to establish an organization that offers a very sick child a rare opportunity to experience a miracle, a snowstorm in Houston, Texas.  In 2014, we created our first “snowstorm” and the results were overwhelming. It was for a four-year-old girl in Cypress, Texas who suffered from a rare form of childhood cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma, which ultimately claimed her life. The day that we threw her the snowstorm, she was so full of life. She played, she danced, and she simply forgot for a brief moment that she was ever sick.  We dropped 10,000 pounds of snow in her front yard. The fun lasted the majority of the day and her family was able to invite extended family and friends, as well a photographer that captured some of the last precious moments of her life. Those memories are so dear to those that loved her. We are now driven to offer the same experience on a larger scale. Our vision is to give a child a day away from being consumed by sickness, to play and just be a kid.  Operation Snowstorm allows children with terminal cancer the opportunity to experience a snow flake, something so rare and almost miraculous here in Houston."

Sharon texted me Ed's contact info and reminded me WHO he was - the Snow Warrior that brought joy to Radley's brief but important life.  Of course, I would call him!  And without question, I had to hug him!

After briefly speaking on the phone, Ed was at my door in less than an hour.  He identified that our a/c motor had died and recommended replacing it at a very fair price.  I called Chuck who agreed and approved.  Quickly, Ed took care of every detail and my air conditioner was running efficiently once again.  Thanks, Ed!

More notably, while Ed was at my home, he openly shared the Lord's presence in his life and active ministry.  When asked how he was able to keep the snow in Operation Snowstorm from melting in the hot, Texas sun, he answered, "I can't take any credit for that... that is all God's doing."  He pointed out how the Lord had called him to love others in a way exclusive to the gifts he was clearly given, saying... "I can't personally cure cancer, but I do know how to make it really cold to produce snow!"  What a blessing!  Thank you, Lord Jesus!

While finishing up at my home, Ed commented on something my friend Sharon had said to him only a few months before when Radley was still alive...

"God doesn't call the equipped.  He equips the called."

I've heard this saying many times in my life, and I know firsthand how true it is.  God equips those he calls into His Kingdom.  God gives His people exactly what is needed for each of us to love like the Savior.  Mind you, we are not all rich, or renowned, or well-read... but we are His.  We are a blessed people, a family, called to love one another while displaying Christ to all the world.  Under His authority and reign, we can glorify His hope.  Yes, we can each become a blessing of the Most High God every single day.

Today, I encourage you to meditate on these important verses and consider what God has equipped in you (personally) for the benefit of sharing Jesus' perfect, life-changing love to a world in desperate need of the Savior.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Friends, no matter what, God can use each of us to express His love.  We must only be willing to share the gifts He has given us and glorify His Holy Name.  Like my new friend Ed... like my dear friends Steve and Sharon... let us joyfully serve one another in love for the sake of Jesus Christ!  Let us live each moment God grants to us like the gift it truly is!  Blessed be His Name!

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

P.S.  If you would like to submit a donation to support Operation Snowstorm, please click here.

Blessings!

:)

Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson




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