when I think about what helps me most when I am really down, I believe it is those moments when I realize that I can be someone else’s helper or light in the darkness.
For instance during these times, I am immensely grateful that I still have my job and that it is a job which allows me to help others – and sometimes not only clients, but also colleagues.
And when I look back, this is actually a pattern and my life literally changed many times when I discovered how I could be of service.
I even believe that it is partly how GOD trains us for what HE wants us to do in our lives or for our specific ministry.
I will give you an example what I mean.
But first of all, I will give you the scripture that came to mind:
Proverbs 25:11 and I will give a few translations, because I think this is so rich and multi-facetted…
King James 2000 Bible
The liberal soul shall be made rich: and he that waters shall be watered also himself.
New Living Translation
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
English Standard Version
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.
King James Bible
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Christian Standard Bible
A generous person will be enriched, and the one who gives a drink of water will receive water.
Contemporary English Version
Generosity will be rewarded: Give a cup of water, and you will receive a cup of water in return.
Good News Translation
Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped.
That’s what HE wants us to do.
And I think that’s why it is sometimes the only thing which can bring comfort to us or relief.
So here is one of my examples:
Last year around this time exactly, I was going through a severe trial.
The job I really wanted to do, work in prison to help offenders, was requiring that I had prison clearance. I had gained it for the job before, but my manager there had disapproved of me in many ways (mainly because she did not have the same spirit in her as I do – I’ve written about it at the time, you can read it here) but instead of just firing me for no reason, which is evil enough, she decided to tell lies about me to the vetting place and the result was that my vetting, which had been granted for 5 years, was cancelled and in my new job with another employer in another prison, my vetting application was declined.
This clearance is necessary for every job in all prisons in the country!
She had basically intended to destroy my career in the entire field for good.
I am happy to tell you that she didn’t succeed and that I now not only have this level of clearance, but also a higher one for the prisons, plus for probation, plus for police… and I work in an organization which is above hers and gives or denies assignments to her employer… and I am certain that I will be sitting in a meeting one day where she and her services will be discussed…
So what happened last year when the vetting was failed, my employer at the time sent me home of course, what else could they have done, they aren’t allowed to employ someone in a prison without clearance.
They did offer me a similar job on the outside, but that’s not what I heard GOD offer me!
So what I did instead, I started fasting and praying and listening to GOD.
And appealing against the vetting decision.
Plus, I wrote to the data protection officer and demanded to see everything she had sent and said about me.
It was a hard and lengthy process… it took a lot of time for me to get replies at all and this place, where they handle all this confidential data, is secured like a fortress, there is no phone number, no names, no way of talking to someone, all you can ever do is write and they didn’t even give me the proper reasons for the decline so I had to guess… and they didn’t send the letters / emails from her either…
It was probably one of the toughest times of my life.
I knew that this was the career and the job GOD wanted me to do and that HE had promised it to me.
I heard HIM say this over and over again:
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
I had heard it, I knew it was for me and I believed GOD for this job – and at the same time, things were not moving.
I even had a letter that said that my appeal was rejected and the decision to fail my vetting had been upheld.
But I wrote another letter that this is unfair.
I would never have done this without GOD telling me over and over again that HE had opened this door.
To appeal against the result of the appeal?
Makes no sense… does it?
Well, to GOD it does and it did, because that was when the head of the authority which deals with the vetting applications decided that I will be let through and that I will be given a chance to work in the field I wanted to work in – which probably helped me with all following applications, the clearance for the high security prison and the police and probation…
It was a miracle, friends.
And my old employer took me back immediately and I started 4 days after my vetting had gone through…
But it took 3 months until the victory had come.
3 very hard and teary months.
3 months of loneliness, uncertainty, prayer and fasting and 3 months of poverty, no job, claiming benefits and wondering if I should go for another job or wait on THE LORD…
Now, looking back, it sounds doable… 3 months… but when you don’t know the outcome and all you can do is to trust GOD…
Let me tell you, it was hard!
And what I did sometimes (when I had the money), I went out to parks or places where homeless people are and talked to them…I bought used backpacks and filled them with a little food and drink, some toiletries and lists of places where they could get help, advice, free food or clothes, and in every backpack, I put a bible as well… and then I went out and did my best to reach out, to listen, to talk…
One guy in particular, his name was John, he was crying every time I spoke to him… he was struggling with alcohol misuse… and one day, I went and saw him in the park where he was, he always said when I asked him how he was “terrible!” and he said he hadn’t eaten in a few days… I asked what he would like and he said he wanted me to choose for him… so I went to the store and decided to spend 10 pounds for him and got him some items, some to eat now and some in cans or that would keep longer… I also wanted him to see what 10 pounds can buy, because that is about the amount you have available per day when you are on benefits… I wanted him to come with me to a day center where they would help him register for benefits and he even had a bank account and probably even money in there from a previous claim… but he never came with me, he always said next time… then, when I started working again, I no longer had the time to go there and look for him during the week, I tried a few Saturdays, but I couldn’t find him anymore – I hope someone else came and helped him (he had told me that a support worker from another charity had gotten him a place in rehab, he was still on the waiting list, but this person would come and get him as soon as a place would be available for him)…and I commanded him to GOD as I did my best to help elsewhere…
I also spoke to other people whom I only met once, but these days when I went out to meet them and talk with them and help them a little (of course, I always offered prayer and told them about JESUS) were very, very special days and they were probably some of the days and times when I felt the closest to GOD… and I KNOW that this is what HE wants us to do.
So currently, my life is not easy for many reasons.
In fact, I am again going through very painful trials (different ones), truly hurting – don’t mean to complain, but it is what it is.
And at the same time, I am blessed to have a job where I can help others and the difference I am making in these people’s lives is giving me comfort, courage and strength to move on…
And I know that GOD will help ME and heal ME as I help others.
I was wondering if this could be something for you, too, my dear friend?
Every time I can, I encourage my clients, offenders, to find some kind of volunteering (or full time) work, something charitable, something they could do to help others, perhaps with the skills they have or the knowledge they have from what went wrong in their own lives…
I know that it works for me.
And I also know that it works for the people I support.
Here on this blog, where I share knowledge about the enemy and how to defeat him.
AND outside in my full time job, where I bring hope to the captives and encourage them and respect them and love them and help them forgive themselves and make a fresh start.
In fact, if I hadn’t decided to help others in my full time job and in my free time as well, as much as I can, I would be much worse, much, much worse, I know that!
I know it will work for you and bring healing and joy and purpose and a closer relationship to GOD for you as well, my friend.
Especially if you are down and struggling, perhaps because you have lost your job or perhaps you are ill or lost a loved one…
What will help you truly heal and pick yourself up is to reach out and help someone else.
Who could you help now, my friend?
I hope this will inspire, heal and bless you. And I hope and pray that THE LORD will bless you richly in all areas of your life, that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you, and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. Amen.
photo credit: https://homelessinamerica.blogspot.com