Funny how when life is good and you don’t need anything from anyone, all kinds of people are in your life. They love you and want to be with you. Then trouble comes. You’re suffering and needy…”afflicted” and all of a sudden you find yourself alone.
People offer advice, perhaps they truly want to help. Then when you figure out a way to help yourself, do all that you can do to make your situation better, if they don’t agree the judgment starts. Perhaps they want to be your “fixer”; perhaps they truly mean well but if you don’t do it their way they become distant.
Psalm 22:24-25: “For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Neither has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.”
Afflicted means “poor, needy, wretched, weak, lowly, humble”. The very ones we are supposed to be drawn to as Christians are the very ones we avoid! We offer prayers and encouragement, even write a check and that’s wonderful. But when a physical need and your time, talents and presence is needed are we as quick to respond? When someone around you has a need YOU can meet, are you willing to help? When things get messy and uncomfortable is your witness stable? Or do you pass judgment and distance yourself?
Do you get your feelings hurt because you weren’t the first they ran to? Are you disappointed in them because they wouldn’t allow you to be their “savior”?
I’ve said many times, people are just people. Human. If we rely on those around us for a fix we’ll surely be disappointed. However, all of us at one point or another need help – a hand to lift us up; a hug, a human touch of reassurance to let us know it’s going to be okay. At some point, friend, you’ll need me and I’ll need you. What will you do?
If you find yourself in a predicament, test or trial, know first and foremost, God loves you. He isn’t mad at you. He hasn’t left you. God gets the blame for all the bad stuff that happens…does He get the glory for all the good things in our lives? Life is hard and things happen we have no control over. The verses above are precious to me. They state He, like so many others, doesn’t judge us. He loves us THROUGH what we’re going through. He is right there, waiting for you to call on Him. The world we live in is a distorted, messed up place and living is hard at times.
Do you see the hopelessness in people? Are you looking to see it? Do you care? They need love…and love is Jesus. We may be going through what we are so that others can see His love, protection and provision in our lives. They may not have Him – we need to unashamedly show (and tell) what He is doing in our lives, how He is seeing us through and providing for us. It’s okay to ask them to come to church with you – but why not invite them into your life? Why not share Jesus? Why not give them the gift of Him? Why is it so easy to invite them to church and not tell them about the REASON we go to church? You may think you’ve got this – that you’re the one who has kept your life on track and give yourself all the credit. News flash: you’re not!
I dare you today to put your feelings and judgments aside and go up to someone and display godly grace to them. I dare you to make a difference in their lives. Someone around you is needy…afflicted…and hurting. Tomorrow it could be you. What will you do with that?
Matthew 25:31-46 James 4:17