I was early for a meeting in downtown Nashville last week, so I decided to take a stroll down a side street just south of our state’s Capitol.
It was a chilly day- and the brisk wind made it even colder.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man approach me. “Pardon me,” he said in a meek voice. I turned to face him.
“My friend has a bad cold,” he said. Would you mind buying him a cup of coffee to warm up his throat?” I looked behind him to see another man propped up at the base of a building- layered in tattered, dirty blankets.
I told him I would- and hurried across the street to a coffeehouse to buy a large, hot coffee.
I returned to the two men and gave one of them the coffee. He didn’t speak or make eye contact, but the other man said “thanks so much.” He then turned back to his friend and helped him place the cup to his mouth.
I walked away stunned. It was a complete display of compassion and concern for another person.
After leaving my meeting, I wondered about the two men. It was about an hour before sunset, and I knew it would be getting even colder soon. I decided to walk back down that street where I’d seen them earlier.
And there they were. Sitting and talking. Smiling. Content for the moment.
I decided to buy them hot sandwiches, water and coffee. They were grateful. I asked them why they didn’t ask for more when I encountered them earlier. The more verbal of the two answered, “I only ask for what I need at the moment.”
I thought about that all night. What if I did that? What if I could truly separate my requests from God into needs versus wants?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19
I often craft my prayers as a wish-list. I “want” comfort, peace, love and wisdom. I want it all.
Give us this day our daily bread… Matthew 6:11
But what do I really need? I need help and comfort for today. God will provide if I am faithful and believe. He will take care of me.
My prayer today is to be satisfied with what I have- and to truly focus on my immediate needs and the concerns of those I love.
And please let me know how I may pray for you.