Hero to the Hopeless

Week three of the Primary Healthcare school was focused on nutrition, child survival, human trafficking, aboriginal health, and other important issues in developing nations. Our speaker enthralled us with his interesting stories of travelling around Africa and Asia. At one point, tears streamed down my face as I concentrated on the story Jeff was describing. I had no idea his story would be so impactful on my emotions. My eyes were opened to the pain and suffering people are currently experiencing and I could feel my heart breaking.  Jeff continued to share story after story about some of the situations he witnessed, but in all the stories Jesus brought hope by sending someone to help. Immediately I questioned why I couldn’t be that person Jesus sends. I held myself back from bursting out of my seat as all these questions flooded my mind. “What am I doing here? What am I doing with my life? I want to leave right now! Why am I not in Asia?”

Gradually, these questions faded into the background as the speaker moved on and started to list a number of statistics. “27 million people across the globe are trafficked, with 2 million of those being children. 39 million people are currently living with AIDs, with over 15 million children being orphaned from the disease.” As he continued to list off different numbers, one question rose higher than the other: “Am I actually making a difference with the few people I come into contact with on outreach?”

He is always the answer.
Softly, the Lord spoke into my spirit. “Is there anything too overwhelming or complicated for me to accomplish through you?” My mind knew the answer was no, but my heart wouldn’t believe it was true. As healthcare workers, we are trained to meet needs in practical ways, but often I’m overwhelmed by the statistics of those suffering in the world. “How can I possibly make a difference with the thousands of people experiencing pain all over the earth?” As I wrestled with this question the Lord spoke again to my spirit. “Haven’t I always been about the individual?”

I hear stories all across the globe of the way Jesus rescues people from the most horrific situations. Usually these stories never make the news, but it reminds me of His faithfulness in hearing our voice. In 1 Samuel, Hannah repeatedly kneels before the Lord crying out to Him for a son. Hannah was only one woman at the foot of Jesus. Not a nation, crowd, or people group, but one woman who desperately needed rescuing. The Lord answered her cry and brought justice to her life. Also, in Luke fifteen Jesus talks about the “Good Shepherd” who leaves his ninety-nine sheep to find the one. I was confronted by His question and the scripture God brought along with it. Jesus has always been about the individual. If I touch one person’s life, He rejoices with all of heaven. Getting caught up in the “numbers and statistics” can bring us to a point of hopelessness. In Luke 8, Jesus takes his disciples all the way across the sea of Galilee in order to speak to one man. The journey was difficult, but Jesus considered it worth the freedom of one of His children.

Jesus has always been about the individual.

Keep your eyes on the prize
I believe the enemy takes our freedom away by putting an unnecessary burden on our heart. As Christians we have a desire to rid the world of pain and suffering, but the moment we take our eyes off Jesus we lose all hope for change. Several times I’ve found myself taking the responsibility of relieving suffering on earth as if God isn’t capable or He’s overwhelmed by the state some people are in. God is never overwhelmed. I’ve believed the lie that I’m not doing “enough” for Jesus and I need to work harder or sacrifice more. It makes me laugh because I’m believing God isn’t big enough to watch over his children. What a privilege it is for us to be invited into seeing the world changed by bringing His love to the nations! He allows us to be a part of His plan, but by no means does He need our help. It’s tremendous how God entrusts us with the Gospel and what a blessing it is to share with everyone we know. He never asked us to find the solution to poverty in general, but Jesus did give examples of showing value to the individual.

I was convicted about my thoughts towards the massive poverty in many different areas. I often get caught up in wanting to save the world and invent some genius way of ridding the world of  poverty and the fame that comes with this sort of solution. Although these things are extremely important to Jesus, He never wants us to lose sight of the person. Personally, I’ve been a part of organisations who lose sight of this important value. It’s common for the statistics to outweigh the little moments. Even though you wouldn’t count giving an elderly woman a hug in your stats book, it’s still of utmost importance to Jesus. The Lord is teaching me how to “draw near” and change the world one person at a time, no matter how long it takes. I’m learning how giving time to the “one” is making a difference in the Kingdom of God. Whether that’s the ONE person in your class, in a clinic, or even within your family, He desires for every last person to be reached. Jesus has never been about mere numbers.