Keepin’ Things Real: Snowpocolypse: a lesson learnedFebruary 04, 2014
Last week, my hometown, Birmingham, Alabama was struck with a very unexpected snowstorm. People were stranded at their offices, at their schools, and in their cars. With no knowledge of the snow and ice storm, many people didn't fill their cars up with gas, and when stuck in traffic for hours (some as long as 16 hours!! No, this is not a typo!!!), their cars ended up running out of gas and they were forced to abandon their cars and walk home or to any other warm place nearby.
The next morning, I was to board a flight to Texas to lead a women's event. A dear friend came and picked me up to take me to his home, where my husband had ended up when he was stranded near their home. He grabbed our daughter, Jorja, where she had been stranded at her college, and then came to get me.
For the next 6 hours, I watched as people gave their time and efforts to help others. Chick-fil-A gave out free sandwiches to those who had been stranded and sleeping in their cars. People drove school buses filled with those who had to abandon their cars, and drove them to the place that they had to leave them so they could retrieve them. People on four-wheelers road around with gas cans, putting gas in the cars that were empty. People were even helping those whose cars had slid into ditches and trees, pull their cars free. It was amazing to see.
My friend, Mark, offered his day to help however he could. He picked a gentleman up, then Jorja up, and then, me. He dropped the man off and then got a phone call that another older gentleman was stranded at his office and had spent the night there the night before. Mark immediately offered to go get him, and take him home. After stopping to pull a car out of the middle of the street, we drove to pick up the older man, and finally found a way to get him to his home. When the older gentleman got out of the car, he gave Mark two $50 bills to thank him for using his gas to come and get him. After 6 hours of driving through slick snow and ice, we were headed to Mark's home to be together as a family and to get me closer to the airport. When we turned up near his home, we saw three people who were absolutely dragging their feet as they walked. Mark stopped and asked them if they needed a ride. It turned out that they had walked for hours and were only halfway to their destination. With no room in the truck, we crammed them in and offered them what little trail mix and bottled water we possessed.
When we arrived at their home, Mark handed them one of the $50 bills that the former rider had given him. The sweet lady teared up and said, "God bless you." Mark handed her the other $50, as she got out. He looked at me and said, "She got the other $50 because of what she said." Then, he said, "Don't you think that the older gentleman gave that $100 for them?" And we all wholeheartedly agreed.
I will always remember snowpocolypse.....not because of the snow or the ice but the labor of God's love displayed to those in need.
How do you want to be remembered?
"We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, YOUR LABOR PROMPTED BY LOVE, and your endurance inspired by hope in our lord Jesus Christ." 1Thessalonians 1:3
The word "labor" in the original Greek means "toil and trouble"and the word " love" means "putting another ahead of yourself". Have you ever worked so hard for a certain cause or for a community service project to the point that you were absolutely exhausted? You fall into the bed and though your body aches, you feel this sense of peace, inner joy, and satisfaction? That's a labor of love as you have yourself away for the sake of others.
I saw a true labor of God's love on display in the 6 hour drive in Mark's truck, and I will never forget it. As I witnessed his labor of love, I desired in my heart to do that every day of my life: to spend myself on others so that they might see an accurate representation of God's selfless, serving love. When we truly come to know God's present, pursuing, and passionate love for us, and start giving it away, an accurate display of His love reaches the world and makes it a better place.
Your labor of love puts God's love on display.
That's how I want to be remembered.
How about you?
(This was written by Jena Forehand. You can find other's like it at www.livingdeeperministries.com)
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Deborah On Sunday, February 02 at 12:37 PM
What an amazing story! I want to be remembered like that, too! A blessing unto others. Thanks for sharing.