For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.Psalm 84:11 (NLT)
His name was John. (At least that’s how I remember it.) He was one of hundreds of faces I’d seen at rest stops along Oregon’s highways with a hard luck story. His was “Homeless Vet. Need help.” I was running late that afternoon, so I rushed passed him so that I could do my “rest stop” and then return to the car to finish the long drive home. I was equally hurried on my way out of the restroom, and didn’t say anything as I slipped by John.
“Have a nice day, sir!” John called out to me as I reached my vehicle.
“God bless!” was my hurried reply. That phrase was my undoing.
“Do you really mean that?” John answered.
He got me. Both John and God actually. My hand froze on the door handle to my car. I knew it would be easiest to just hop in and drive away, but I knew that I needed to go speak with John and see what I could do to help him.
Why does doing the right thing often seem so difficult? I know, some of you reading this have never struggled with a choice between right and wrong, but I sure have. In that moment, it was a moral struggle. Was I too busy, too jaded, to answer the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
As the verse says, God withholds “no good thing from those who do what is right.” In other words, we are blessed when we choose to do what is right. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit leaves no doubt about what is right and what is wrong, so we really have no excuses. It’s just us, in our humanity, wrestling with God.
I chose to engage in conversation with John. I didn’t have any money, but had a bunch of empty water bottles in my car. I gave those to John so he could cash those in for change.
Then, God sent a huge blessing. As I was preparing to pray over John, he stopped me and asked my story. I told him I was a pastor and about the ministry God had called me into. This homeless vet then prayed over me! It was an amazing prayer, and a huge blessing. Follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Choose to engage in doing right according to God’s desires. You will be fulfilled. You will be blessed.