We of course need wisdom, much of which only comes over time, even years, to know HOW to help and sometimes to get totally out of the way so as to not harm in the process of trying to help people. Obvious stuff, that. We never stop learning in this area.
People sometimes make statements or ask me about some sense of passion, conviction, energy in my life in terms of serving. Truly, it likely comes down to four things.
First- God the Holy Spirit is alive and well and I deeply desire Him to work in and through me daily regardless of the task where I might help others. Bluntly, I don’t always WANT to cooperate with Him, apply scripture and personal sacrifice to this or that particular person, group or issue, but conviction is not a stranger in my life -to say the least!
A deep passion for God, His Word, His people and those who might become part of His eternal family is my core heartbeat. My marriage and family are absolutely laced within all this, the local Christian community, church, denomination and larger church but also jails, prisons, bike clubs and street people wherever, are all very much up in my conscious mind.
Next- If I can’t help them I likely know others who can so try to direct them to the right folks.
As long as I can see and/or hear there is no stopping my notice -and the One Whom Jesus said would come (He has!) in Jesus’ name, the Holy Spirit gets my notice so of course plenty of people in need also get my notice. I can’t help them all, can’t help them all the time, often I must say “I’m sorry… I can’t!” to this person because at that point I’m working with another person… and so it goes.
Networking with others and serving as a team player keeps me from burnout, despair and ever believing I can be anybody’s savior (NOT), a sense of my own need and hopefully a bit of humility in knowing others do far better than I in a great many areas of serving those in need.
Third- My email inbox is set to receive several daily devotionals as well as a general (sometimes goofy) inspirational quote post. The latter contained two back-to-back that got my attention, the last of which many of my readers will recognize, but I think both are gems and solidly true:
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little.
– Edmund Burke
We can do no great things,
only small things with great love.
– Mother Teresa
I read these and consider Jesus pointing out a widow who could only put a couple of pennies worth of coins into an offering box -and often think my little is just soooo little -but it’s what I have. I can give what I can give and there are people in need so…
Lastly- I spent time chatting with a friend and a Russian missionary this morning. As we shared experiences it became obvious neither of us care about BIG, GREAT, IMPRESSIVE nor mere numbers of people, money or other common trappings of “success” and even at times “successful ministry”. According to Jesus the widow with her mite put in more than the rest. He spoke of Himself leaving the ninety-nine and going after the one sheep that was lost.
I’m no kid, been old for a long time… of course I get tired and feel a few more aches and pains when I get up in the morning. So what?! My needs and those of my family are met, at times with some anxiety and struggle, but that’s quite common among people on this planet. I thank God constantly for Him, my wife and family, my church family and His continual provision for our needs and even desires of our hearts being so very met!
At the same time, perhaps one of the greatest gifts after faith to believe, salvation in Jesus and the grace to live it out is sometimes overlooked by myself as well as some reading this. It is the fact that God doesn’t judge our offerings as harshly as we do, and more, that He doesn’t judge other’s offerings with the same attitude we often do.
If you’ve read this far, thank you and may others recognize His love via you and I!
As always, thanks for stopping by:) -Glenn