I declare in the name of Jesus I will go where you lead me, even into painful places. I know you are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me even in times of trouble. I give you the places of bitterness in my life and know you will turn them sweet.
Remember that tasting the goodness of God is a personal experience? The Word, the heart of God or how we know Jesus always starts off sweet, but brings us to a bitter place. What the heck is that all about?
It’s the Lord leading us and directing us into places we would never otherwise dare to venture. He doesn’t tell us everything up front, but once we step out into that territory, we become committed to something we would have never committed to otherwise.
Example: God leading me to fix an old woman’s roof. This led to me finding out she had no food. When I bought her food, her boyfriend said he needed food and so did some of his friends. This led to a weekly grocery outreach which has now become the OpenDoor Food Bank. My wife and I have embraced it as our life’s work.
I’m no Noah. God said, “Build an ark.” Without even knowing what it was for or really what an Ark was, Noah did. Had God said, “Troy, build a food bank,” I don’t think I would have listened. Instead, Jehovah Sneaky let me take a step into the waters of the unknown, then wade in through the shallow end before immersing me neck deep in serving the poor.
The sweet part to feeding and taking care of the poor is that I get to see miracles, salvations and I experience great favor with God.
Now, here’s the bitter part. Feeding the poor cost my family dearly. Oftentimes, we gave away food when we didn’t have any ourselves. There’s no money in feeding the poor. For years, debt and doubt hounded me.
Now you understand why I say OpenDoor Food Bank is bittersweet for me. It is something wonderful that I had to pay a great big price for. Jesus perfectly explained this process to Peter like this:
“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” – John 21:18
This is the bitter part of experiencing Jesus. It’s the part where we go where we never would have gone without Him.
WHERE DOES JESUS WANT YOU TO GO? TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO STEP INTO THE SHALLOW END OF SWEET SERVICE AND SEE HOW DEEP THE LORD TAKES YOU.
From my book: Good Overcomes Evil