Well I’ve been doing a little bit of traveling this week. I went to several different cities and I was sharing some of the different concepts and philosophies that I believe God wants us to realize and understand so that we can walk in our own shoes, because God created six billion individuals on planet earth that are living today. And we are individuals and we’re not copies. Every single one of us is totally and completely unique. You know, science proves what the Bible tells us, and science has proven that fact by studying DNA, by studying the retinas, by studying the fingerprints, and no two are the same, period. God hasn’t made a single copy of you. Isn’t that good to know? Do you like that idea? I do. I like the idea that I’m unique, that God created me special.
And as a result of that, He wants us to live special lives as well, and that’s what “Walking in Your Own Shoes” is all about.
In fact, I’m dedicating my message today to a young girl by the name of Mariannet Amper. She was a 12-year-old Filipino girl. All she wanted was a pair of shoes. I read this newspaper article, it’s an older article. A friend of mine sent it to me. It was written by Kathy Marks for the Asia Pacific Correspondence and the title of it is simply a little girl who wanted a pair of shoes. And here’s what it says: all she wanted was a pair of new shoes, and to be able to finish her schooling. But her family was dirt poor and eventually the 12-year-old Filipino girl grew so demoralized that she hanged herself. Mariannet Amper left a letter under her pillow, describing her failed hopes and aspirations.
What’s more important? The tangible or the intangible? I believe it’s very important for us to do something tangible with what we’ve been given and bestowed upon by God. But at the same time, its every bit as important to do the intangible where if she’d only hung onto faith, if she’d only held on for one more day, it would have been totally different. The night before she killed herself with a nylon rope in their modest hut, which has no electricity or running water, Marionette had asked her father Isabelo for a hundred pesos or about two dollars for school project, but he had no money. The next day he managed to get a thousand pesos cash advance for some building work in a chapel, but when he got home to tell her, his daughter was already dead.
And how many people around the world lose hope? They fail to see the reality of God’s goodness in their life and if they’d only hung on for one more day, it would have made all the difference in the entire world. We have to continue to walk the walk. To walk in our own shoes, to bare the cross, to suffer the burdens and to realize that through it all, that if we only hang in there, that all things will work together for good to those who love God. That is the promise that we have from God. We just need to love Him, have enough faith and trust in Him to believe that somehow, someway God will intervene in our lives and He will make a difference, and He will lift us up out of the burdens that we find ourselves in today. When it seems absolutely hopeless, God will come through.
Thursday morning, we left Tampa. And in fact our flight left at 10:00 which meant we had to get up around eight, I think it was about seven o’clock actually to get ready and go to the airport. And we flew from Tampa to Washington DC and on the way to Washington DC I had this idea, I thought to myself, we’re going to check into a hotel room tonight, in order to get a eight o’clock flight tomorrow for New York, and yet there’s a train that we can get which will leave Washington at 10, put us into New York at one. Now that sounds late, it sounds kind of awkward until you realize that our body clocks are three hours earlier than what the alarm clock says. So suddenly having to get up at eight o’clock in the morning, or catch an eight o’clock flight the next morning, means we have to get up at five o’clock on East Coast time, which means our body clock is three hours earlier than that, which puts it at.. we have to get up two a.m. in the morning to get a flight. On the other hand, we arrive in New York City at one o’clock and that means our body clocks are ten p.m. Not bad. I’d much rather do that. Would you rather do that? Stay up till ten or would you rather get up at three? I mean that’s a no brainer, right?
Everything worked out perfectly. They were able to give us a room that night in New York City, the train schedule was right on, and we went to get on the train and all of a sudden have you ever heard of this? They said we’ve got a problem with the train? I’ve heard of them having problem with planes but not trains. And they said I’m sorry, the car you’re sitting in has to be disconnected. So you get a choice of going up or back, it doesn’t matter. So it took them about an hour to somehow remove this one car from the train, because supposedly it wasn’t safe enough to get to New York, and so they disconnected this train so we were an hour late getting into New York City. But the good news is, the train puts us just a couple blocks away from our hotel, and we walked into our hotel room at three o’clock in the morning. Let me remind you, our body clocks, it’s only 12 o’clock. So it’s not that bad as far as our bodies are concerned.
But the sad part was, when we went to check in, it’s always a bad sign when they go to check the reservation and they say I have to talk to the manager. And they came back and they said oh Robert and Donna, we have your room, but your associate, we don’t have a room for him, for Ben. We’re going oh my goodness. Well I’m thinking to myself is he going to share a room with Donna and I or is he going to sleep on the sofa. You know they have a real nice sofa here in the lobby; that looks pretty comfortable to me. I’m thinking well there’s got to be another solution. And the beautiful thing is that God always provides. Just as we’re contemplating all the different alternatives, they looked at different hotels; every single hotel that they called was full. Not another room to be had in Manhattan. It’s three a.m., we’re tired, we’re ready to go to bed and we’re trying to resolve this, and a lady comes walking downstairs checking out of her room. But of course they don’t have room service at three a.m., so they can’t clean it. She says well if you want, you can have my key, I only slept on one half of the bed.
But the truth of the matter is, when you go through life and you’re walking in faith, and you’re walking in your own shoes, things aren’t always going to turn out absolutely perfect. There’s going to be challenges, there’s going to be frustrations, there’s going to be mis-steps, there’s going to be miscommunications, there’s going to be problems. But the fact is that when we continue to move forward in faith, somehow, someway God always provides a way of escape. He’s always there to lift us up, to carry us through and to let us know that He is there. And He does. Time and time again we see the power of God, who lifts us when we need it the most, if we simply hold on and live with faith, God comes through.
We’re entering the holidays, especially the closer it gets and that shopping window gets shorter and shorter and the parking lots get smaller and smaller. You’re going to run into problems with people who are going to probably push some old buttons. And every time you feel one of those old red buttons that makes your ears start to burn, and you get frustrated and you start feeling the heat, I want you to change your attitude. I want you to think the thoughts of Christ. That this Christmas with Christ in the very center of Christmas, we can think the positive thoughts that Christ wants us to think and realize that do you know what, that person probably needs that parking space just a little bit more than I do. And if this person is rude and they cut in front of you in line, just say do you know what? Be my guest because you probably need it more than I do anyway. And if somebody picks up that last gift that everyone’s going for, and all of a sudden they get that last one and you’re left holding an empty bag, just realize do you know what? God has a better gift for me to buy for somebody because God controls it all anyway.
And here we are, walking in our own shoes, and not somebody else’s shoes. That means we’re not trying to copy everybody else, we’re trying to be the individual that God has called us to be. And that means we are taking on the perception, the realization, the understanding, the mindset that our journey, the path that we are blessed with, is an opportunity for us to be able to share the good news of Jesus Christ all the time, just in our actions. With a smile, with a welcome, with a can I help you with that, can I hold that bag for you, and little things; Small inconceivable ways because God takes these small inconceivable things and He multiplies them one on top of another in a magnificent way where we become a collective whole, and as a collective whole, all little tiny things become great, glorious, wonderful things in the eyes of God.
Mariannet Amper never got her new pair of shoes, never heard this message and never realized what God could have done if she had just had a little more faith.
I was signing books in New Jersey and a woman came up to me at the very last minute and we were talking, we were introducing ourselves and all of a sudden she opened her purse and says I want to give you something. And she reached down and she felt, it was a quite large purse and she reached down and pulled out of the bottom of her purse, she pulled out this sack of coins. And then tears started to roll down her cheek, she said I wish I could do more. But I’m unemployed and I’m a single mother and I want to give this to you to keep the message alive today. We need the Hour of Power. We need to hear the message to walk in our own shoes, we need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and will you please take this and keep the Hour of Power on the air. It’s all I have. I want you to have it.
And I remembered the widow’s mite. Do you know the story of the widow’s mite? Jesus was watching the Pharisees and watching people put their offerings in and He sat down, it says, at the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. And many rich people threw in large amounts, but a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny, a mite. With that, Jesus called His disciples to Him and He said, I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others for they gave out of their wealth but she out of her poverty put in everything. All she had she gave.
And she gave this bag to me. And I’m going to put this in my office and I’m going to keep this because it’s going to remind me of how important this ministry is in people’s lives around the world today. I’ll count it and I’ll put a check in the mail to make sure that it is accounted for. But it’s going to remind me of how important this ministry is in the lives of people. It is the widow’s mite.
And today, I believe that God is calling all of us to respond to His call, to never give up hope, to always keep on striving that no matter how tough it may seem, that Christmas is just around the corner and that God’s going to come in and He’s going to make a difference, He’s going to be born again and He’s going to bring the light into the dark world. All we need to do is hold onto that hope, that faith today just one more day.
And so I ask you today to give thanks for God for everything. So hold onto hope. Hold onto the faith that God is alive, that God cares for you, that God loves you. Walk the faith and walk in the shoes that God has given to you. And do it with faith in your heart, knowing that God’s love abounds forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You’re a God who touches hearts, and souls, and minds with the reality of Your goodness. That You made us absolutely, completely unique. Not a single one of us is a copy. And as such, you are continuing to guide and lead. Give us the faith, oh Lord, to believe You. To hold on when things seems hopeless, to realize You always provide a way of escape, to understand that the sun will rise in the morning. And so we love You Lord, and we praise Your name, Amen.