I am not sure that any country takes more for granted its easy access to clean water than the United States, what with all the nations that have access to virtually none if any at all, but the life-changing cup of water story isn’t about taking a cup of clean water for granted – or even about being thankful for it. The cup of water the Lord used to help change my life comes with a lesson that countless people probably need to hear.
“Can I have something more to drink?” the probably homeless man asked me at a weekly gathering for people who are homeless and others in extreme need. He held out his empty cup toward me as he called me over to his table.
“Sorry,” I replied quickly. “I don’t work here. You’ll have to ask one of the volunteers,” I told him. I figured I could go back to what I was doing, weaving my way through the numerous tables as the usual up to 100 homeless people and others in need sat down to their Sunday morning breakfast. But the man was not finished with me – nor was the Lord.
“Please may I have something to drink?” the man pressed on, still holding out his hand. It was as though he knew what needed to happen. I gave in. “I’ll see if I can find you one of the volunteers serving breakfast to help,” I conceded. But he made it clear he wanted ME to get the drink for him. I walked over to the volunteers and asked about the orange juice. They were all out, but there was plenty of warm city tap water sitting in pitchers. I went back to the man to tell him, and he replied he would be more than happy to have the water instead. He handed me his cup, and this time I took it. Sadly, I didn’t even bother to wash the cup out. I added the warm water to the little bit of orange juice remaining and brought him the little cup of orange-y water. The man could not have looked more thrilled, more thankful, and more delighted.
“Thank you!” he exclaimed. “You would make someone a good wife,” he told me with gratitude and kindness. As soon as I walked away, I knew what had happened. The Lord had brought to life scriptures in the Bible as He used the experience to chasten me. Who am I to not humble myself, to set aside what I am doing, and to bring one of the “least of these” – in this case someone who appeared to be homeless – a cup of water? I absolutely love ministering to the homeless, to the broken, to the addicted and lost and abused and forgotten, and the list goes on. But God in His infinite wisdom was showing me that not only am I called to serve those in dire need, but I am called to do so with His love, with His grace, with His mercy and compassion, and in total humility. And I need to set aside my own agenda of how I think I need to help, and I need to help and love as He leads me.
Mat 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. (KJV)
Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.(KJV)