How can I help?

 Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” (Romans 15:1-2)

You and I have been blessed in so many ways, but did you realize the blessings we have today are often born out of times of leanness, grief, despair, and hardship? I can recount the times when the kids and I lived paycheck to paycheck, relishing a good thrift store find that helped to supplement our wardrobes, and even getting a used car that I could repair myself. We have way more blessings that we may realize, but what do we 'do' with those blessings? If we are to be obedient servants, we are to step in, lend that hand, and be of service where service is most needed. In other words, we who are blessed with so much and in so many ways are to become a blessing to others!

It could be your way of being a strengthening force for another is continually lift them up in prayer - so pray. You might have the ability to volunteer your time at a food bank - so dig in, put your back into the work, and get those boxes packed. You may be considering being a blessing to a young couple without grandparents nearby - so become their babysitter so they can enjoy a night out. There is no one way we bless another - our ability to be a blessing is as varied as the blessings we have received in our lives. Lend a hand, help the one up who is buried under that burden, and let them lean on you a bit until they get their footing and find their path of blessing.

One thing that is so different today from when I was growing up is this sense of community - of looking after the good of those around us. When I grew up, mom's hung out in the backyard, chatting over the fence line as they hung out the family laundry. They'd take a cup of coffee together and share about each other's week. As I sat with my BFF yesterday, I observed a woman attempting to find a table at the diner where we took lunch. It was hot and sunny and only outdoor tables were available. We had been able to snag one totally under the shade of a large tree, so ours was 'premium' real estate! As we offered her our table, she let us know how appreciative she was and added she was there on a 'girl's day out' with her daughter. My heart soared to hear that because we all need those 'girl's days out' / 'guy's days out' when we can just catch up with each other, pour into each other's lives and just be a blessing to each other.

Blessings don't have to cost us much - but perhaps the one blessing that has a 'cost' much higher than some seem to pay is one that involves our time. Be willing to give your time, my friend. You never know when your time becomes the means by which someone finds the strength to continue to go on as their battle grows harder and harder. My friends of all those years ago who brought me meals, gave me hand-me-down clothes for the kids, and went garage sale hopping on Saturdays were doing just that - they were helping me stand a little stronger than I actually could stand on my own. Just sayin!

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