Texas and the Convenience Store

The other day I heard an interesting story on the radio concerning the Texas winter storm situation. First, it’s insane the extent Texas is being hit and we need to make sure we are praying for all those impacted. I have several friends living in Texas who have been struggling and for those of you who have been praying, thank you!

The DJ on the radio station shared the same sentiments before he shared the following story. Apparently a man who owned and worked a convenience store in Texas had cases of water delivered to his store at night while it wasn’t open. The area his store was located was getting hit with the terrible snow and ice so the owner wasn’t able to get to his store in his vehicle until the roads were treated. So the delivery driver left the several cases of water outside the store before leaving the property. When the owner was driving to his store the next morning, he arrived to see all the cases of water gone.

In the owners mind, he thought to himself “well we are all struggling and going through a very hard time, if the people needed water, let them have the water. I may take a hit to my business, but the people need it more.” When the owner opened up his door to the store, there on the floor were dollar bills. Over $600 worth to be exact. These individuals still paid for the cases of water they were taking. The owner was truly amazed considering the amount of money that was there was more than what the cases of water would have amounted to.

I listened to this story and I marveled at the beauty of humanity. In a day and age where we often hear the worst sides of society, it’s refreshing to hear the good. The people taking the cases of water could have simply taken it without any thought about paying for it. In their minds, they could have assumed they had the right since they were struggling and needed help. I’m not saying that those who didn’t pay were wrong because times have been extremely difficult for them, but those who did pay truly brought me to a place of reflection.

I find that we might be able to relate with a similar mindset at times regarding the idea of feeling like we are owed something based on our circumstances. I know I can raise my hand and say that I have! Throughout my life I encountered several situations or heard many statements that made an impact and began to mold a victim mentality in my mind. The Bible is not kidding when it says there is power of life and death in the tongue.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.“ Proverbs 18:21

The words that were spoken over me planted seeds of bitterness in my heart until they blossomed into rage, despair, and anger. All of those emotions and feelings formed together and made me feel like a victim in the game of life. I thought God was against me and it made me turn my back on Him. The enemy was out to steal, kill, and destroy and I wasn’t putting up much a fight against it.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The words and actions of others caused me to believe I only had one path I could take in terms of my identity. I played victim to everyone and thought I could never overcome my same sex desires because I was told it was who I am. I didn’t want the desires but with everyone continually speaking harsh words paired with certain events that happened in my life, I began to fall prey to the enemy’s games. I very much wanted to fight, but because life handed me many lemons, I decided to make lemonade but not with the intention to gulp it down. I made it with every purpose to throw it in the faces of those around me. I felt like people owed me for the decisions I made and the trespasses that were committed against me. I wanted people to apologize for where my decisions landed me.

The individuals in Texas going through such hardship could have played the same cards. They were going through so much and could have taken those waters without a second thought, yet they gave. Despite the world handing them victim cards, they decided to approach the situation as victors. Although I approached the situation in my life as a victim and expected everyone to apologize for the wrongs, I eventually realized that God has called me to rise up. God has called me to be victorious and to raise Him, my banner, in the field of battle. It’s easy to keep my eyes level and expect everyone else around me to pat me on the back and tell me what I want to hear, but I don’t see any growth in that.

Yes, I absolutely believe in encouraging and cheering on our friends and loved ones, but what if that doesn’t happen for us? What if no one is in our corner? What if life throws a left hook and we are knocked down to the mat only to see our trainer shake their head in disdain? Will I begin to play the victim and stay down or will I lift up my head, focus on who I am in Christ and keep pushing forward? I want to press forward! I want to press towards the mark! I want to lean in when it’s tough and seek His presence through it all. I don’t want to be a victim when Christ died on the cross so I could be more than that.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

The world can owe me so much and life can be unfair, but I’m not going to wait until it pays the price. I’m going to rise up and carry on. I’m going to laugh in the face of fear that the enemy wants me to succumb to. I’m going to grow a harvest when the world plants me in the middle of a parking lost. I’m going to thrive in Christ when the world wants me to aimlessly strive day after day. We are more than conquerors in Christ and we have to begin to live that out in our minds and putting it into action!

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

The radio DJ had no idea of how a small act of humanity has lit a fire within me. Your words and actions first and foremost begin as thoughts in your mind. You can’t be a victim and a victor at the same time. I have made the decision that regardless of what life throws my way, I choose to be victorious! I choose to make my lemonade and chug it down one glass at a time.