The Prayer of Jabez 30 Day Challenge: Day 4
1 Chronicles 4:9-10: "And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."
This morning I got off to a sluggish start. I didn't really feel like getting out of bed. I'm kind of to the point where I feel like life is just extremely boring and monotonous. As I thought to myself, "I don't feel like doing anything today. Maybe I won't..." I was wondering, "What's the point?!" I mean, every day I get up and do pretty much the same thing. I sometimes wonder if it even means anything. I also wonder if what I'm doing has any affect on anyone else in the world. It's so easy to feel inadequate. But I have to believe that God has a plan and a purpose for me. I know that He has a plan and purpose for me.
As I laid in bed wrestling with myself (and God), I kept telling myself, "There are folks that didn't wake up this morning. Lord I thank you for this day. Please help me get motivated to get out of bed." The sun shined through my window, as I continued laying in bed, and I thought, "Man, God. How could I possibly be lazy on a day like today? Why would I miss an opportunity to admire your handy work?!"
I realized that if I wasted the day by doing nothing, I'd regret it later. I finally threw the covers off, and got out of bed.
The events of the day were pretty much the same as a lot of days...ordinary. I ate breakfast, worked out, took a walk to enjoy this gorgeous SoCal weather, went through a check list of things I wanted to accomplish for the day. Completed all tasks I desired to get done for the day! (WIN!!!!)
While going through one of my ordinary tasks, of looking for acting jobs to submit myself to, I stumbled upon something that is now weighing heavy on my heart. I'm guessing I'm supposed to talk about that...
I was checking out LA Casting and came across this post for a story about this 19 year old who used a live stream web site to broadcast his suicide to the world. At first glance, I think I deleted it to move on to the next email. But for some reason, I later decided to go back to it and take a closer look. After closer examination, I wondered if it was based on fact or fiction. In search of the answer, I Googled his name.
Turns out, much to my dismay, it was true. I found a bunch of articles about it, along with some pictures of him. Some of the articles I found stated he'd done it because he was "unhappy", and even that there were people watching him who encouraged him to go through with it... I was deeply disturbed by that. The curiosity in me wondered if there was a clip of what happened lingering somewhere online. I wanted to hear what he had to say...see if he'd explained his reason for doing what he did. Thankfully, I didn't find one. A little voice in my head said that if there ever was a clip of it online, it should have been removed immediately. My little voice went on to say that no one should see such a thing; because there are far too many people who are easily influenced.
Earlier this morning I was wondering what the whole point was to my life and to this 30 day Jabez challenge. I was wondering if any of it mattered and if I was making any kind of impact on people.
I think it's important to remember that an impact doesn't have to be like an earthquake with the ability to destroy an entire city (in other words, HUGE). An impact might sometimes seem to be something simple and insignificant. Each of us has the ability to make an impact on people directly and indirectly. We also have a choice what kind of impact we'll choose to make: positive or negative.
When I began this challenge, in my mind, my thoughts drifted to the Prayer of Jabez book. My thoughts were of the incredible stories I read about people and this prayer throughout that book. I suppose my expectations were that by the end of Day 1, I'd have enough extraordinary blessing examples to write about that I'd be able to fill a book. At the end of day 3, my patience began to wear thin because I had nothing incredibly exciting to write about. And today I was just done. I didn't want to do it anymore because, "What's the point? So what? Who cares?"
Reading the articles and seeing the pictures of this smiling 19 year old, I was reminded that we all have the ability to make an impact on others directly and indirectly. No matter who we are, and no matter where we are in life, God can and will use us to make an impact on someone, if we allow Him to.
Seeing this story reminded me that everything we do matters. I wonder if the person who had this kid's "supply" (see Day 2 blog for reference) gave up because of frustrations. Now this kid is gone, and He had someones' "supply" and that person may never receive whatever God had for them.
One of my frat brothers left a comment on my blog Day 3 blog. He's a Christ follower, and I'm so thankful that he allowed God to use him to give me my supply. I needed to hear what he wrote; because I was about ready to just quit this whole Jabez challenge.
Deuteronomy 31:6 states, "Be strong and of good courage, fear not...for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
We have to be strong: strong enough to keep going (not in our own strength, but in God's strength), even when we feel like we can't do it anymore, or we don't want to do it anymore. We have to have courage and fear not: have the courage that God is blessing us "indeed" even when we don't see the blessing or the benefit. We should fear not: because God has promised that He won't fail us, nor will He forsake us (even when it looks like He has "failed us", and when it feels like we're alone in our struggles).
And we have to be still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10). When we hold on to these promises, He's more able to work in our lives, allowing us to be a positive impact in someones' life: directly or indirectly. And that, is a blessing, "indeed"!