The other day when we were in the gas station, my four year old and I were sitting in the car while my husband was filling the tank. I was thirsty so I went into my handbag to get some change. As my husband passed to pay for the gas, I called out to him but he didn’t hear me. Disappointed, I put the coins back into my wallet.
A few minutes passed and then I heard a tap on the window beside me. I turned to see a woman standing beside the car looking at me. I hesitated. I couldn’t roll down the window because the car engine was off. I wasn’t sure that it was a good idea to open the door. However, I did. I had to in order to find out what she wanted.
She told me that she needed change for the bus. I hesitated and then I took out my wallet. My fingers closed over the same coins I was going to give my husband to buy me water and I gave them to her. An expression of gratitude came over her face and she took the coins. She reached out to shake my hand. I stared at her hand. I don’t normally shake hands with perfect strangers. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I held her fingers in a feeble handshake. And she said, “God bless you.” Of course, I felt badly that I didn’t give her a nice, warm handshake.
Any way when my husband returned, we talked about it. He had seen what happened and he was happy that I helped the woman out. He believed that God sent her to me for the bus money.
This evening as I was reading the story of the Sheep or Goats found in Matthew 25 to my four year old, I thought of the woman at the gas station.
Jesus spoke of a king who will separate two groups in the last day just as a shepherd separates the sheep in his flock from the goats. One group of people will be on the king’s right and the other on his left. The ones on the right will be those who will share in His kingdom because they helped those who were in need while the ones on the left did not. The words that struck me were, “Every time you saw one of my followers–however unimportant–and refused to help him in his need, you were refusing to help me.” Had I refused to help that woman, it would have been the same as refusing to help Jesus. She was a follower of His and she was in need. She needed money in order to get to where she needed to go and I had the money. Yes, I was thirsty but her need was greater. I didn’t need the water and she needed the change I was going to use for that water. God had other plans for that money. He saw a greater need for it and prevented me from wasting it.
I am very thankful now that God used me to help someone in need. I am grateful that helped someone who needed it. I hope and pray that the next time God gives me an opportunity to help someone in need, I will not hesitate.
When God’s judgement day comes, which group will you belong to–the sheep or the goats–the ones who will live with the King forever or the ones who will be banished from His presence forever? I pray that you will be among the sheep.