The past month has been devastating in Southeast Texas. For the first time, I have witnessed the rippling effects of a hurricane. Seeing the hurt, pain, loss and hopelessness up close is much different than the pictures that are shown on TV. I feel myself asking at the end of the day, “How can I help more; did I do enough?” When it seems so much to comprehend, God reminds me that there are many simple and purposeful things that can be done to bring a moment of peace, laughter, comfort and hope to someone.
In the book of James in, we learn that as believers in Christ, we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and obediently serve others.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17 ESV)
In the book of Matthew, Jesus makes it clear that we are to serve others as we are serving Him.
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-38 ESV)
God created each of us for a purpose and sometimes that purpose is right in front of us. But in the middle of a disaster such as a hurricane or another crisis, it can be difficult to know our purpose and how to help.
Living through hurricane Harvey, the list is long of the things that are needed for so many families. Things such as cleaning out a home, washing and providing clothes, regular supply of food and school supplies, home-cooked meals or financial assistance. Those are just a few off the top of my head.
I have to share that, over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to work with so many servants of various ages, special circumstances and personal needs, yet still gave to others.
- A woman who cares for an elderly parent at home, yet still used her home to wash clothes for others, cook meals to be carried out and housed displaced families.
- Elementary kids who bagged individual Ziplocs full of toiletries for women who had lost everything, so they could have their own soap, shampoo and lotions.
- An eighty eight-year-old man who sat and bagged dog food for those who needed help with their pets.
- Friends and family from other parts of the country bringing smiles to families by sending gift cards.
- Women who gave up their free time to help other women take priceless items out of their homes then pray with them.
- Meals delivered by a mom and her young children to neighborhoods where so many were working with no time or resources to cook a meal.
- Fresh new clothes from close and afar sent to women who had jobs that required professional dress and left home with only three days worth of clothes.
If you ever struggle, sometimes like me, wondering how you can make a difference, pause and ask yourself.
- What is a skill or gift I have that I can share today with someone in need? In 1 Peter 4:10, we are told that God has given us a gift or talent that is not to be used only for our self.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various form. (NIV)
2. What is a passion I have that I can share today to bring someone a smile and moment of normality? (for example cooking, clothes, children)
3. What have I been blessed with that someone else has lost?
4. What breaks my heart the most?
5. Where do I have an extra 10, 20, or 30 minutes in my day that could be used to glorify God by serving someone else with whatever they need?
God’s plan today could be the work He has laid out before you. Our purpose is to serve others with the gifts, talents and time He has so graciously given to us.
Today, I encourage you to pause and think about those special things inside of you that you may take for granted. Ask yourself,
“What is my skill and am I using it for God’s glory to bless someone other than myself?”