I have lived a very blessed life. Of course there have been challenges (some bigger than others), but when I look back over the past 26 years, there is no way that I can deny God’s blessing throughout. One of my prayers has always been to be able to take the blessings that God gives me and to then give them to others. Basically, I want to live the way that scripture challenges us to live.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35
John 13 is a great chapter because it contains the conversations that Jesus is having with his disciples leading up to his death. He knows that they are some of the last moments that they will have together and I believe he is talking as a friend first and foremost. He loves these men deeply and cares for them. They have lived life together over the past 3 years of his ministry and they have become not just his followers, but his brothers. Verses, like this one, are calling them to continue to love and look out for one another as they will soon begin their own journeys within the ministry.
With this in mind, scripture calls us to look after our brothers and sisters. We are to love and care for them as we would our biological family. And when one of them is in need, who among us wouldn’t go out of their way to meet that need.
This is where I think God is wanting to challenge me. I get the loving people and I (generally) do a decent job (some people make it very difficult sometimes, but I’m working on it). And when I see or hear about a need, especially among those people that I am close to, I want to help them if I am able. But where my challenge has surfaced is that I am more able than I often give myself credit for.
You may remember reading several weeks back about my experience with the man on the side of the road. I got another opportunity like that today, only today, I got to give him my lunch.
I have a house full of food and yet I find myself opening the refrigerator and pantry and claiming that there is nothing to eat. I don’t need to eat out, but I enjoy eating out. And that’s mostly just to take an opportunity to get out of the house for a little while. So I buckle my daughter in and we head out.
We head to the ever-so-wonderful Chick-fil-a (I could give up fast food if it weren’t for Chick-fil-a…easily), and knowing that I still have things at the house, I minimize my order to a kids meal for my daughter and just a sandwich for me.
At the light, waiting to turn and head home, was a man sitting in the rain, holding a sign that said he was hungry. I looked to my indulgence beside me and knew that I could provide this man with lunch. And I did. And as I turned, heading home with lunch for my daughter still sitting beside me, I prayed that one day, my girls will see acts like this as second nature. I prayed that it wouldn’t be a second thought for them to give something like their lunch away to someone that needs it. That they would grow up seeing my husband and I taking the abundant blessings that God has given us and then giving them to someone else. Because that’s what loving looks like.
I only wished I had an umbrella to give him as well.