|Photo image courtesy of Marek Uliasz via 123rf.com|
your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time”
or “Try me tomorrow”
when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Over my years of ministry, I have felt in my heart a burning empathy for fellow parents raising kids with challenges. At the same time, I have repeatedly carried around a "righteous indignation" inside of me.
"So what?" most would say. "With the lack of acceptance and compassion for those with special needs in our society, who could blame you?"
But they misunderstand. Those feelings of frustration, disgust or disappointment aren't directed towards the ignorant typical world. I harbor this inner ire for those who are affected and who never reach back to offer a hand up.
I live in an upper middle class suburb, near some very affluent people. In this little piece of the world, I see some families with diagnosed children who are doing well financially, blessed with ample help from others, attending church regularly, yet never reaching back to bless others less fortunate in their same circumstances. My head hurts just contemplating couples who claim to be believers, but who will only look out for their own. These are people who are stingy with their time, resources, and money. Sadly, many of these same families are in high standing in their local churches, likely because of their pious, polished outward appearances.
Meanwhile, the rest of us struggle through, hoping that people of such influence and affluence will help us to wake up the local church to our plight. It seems we wait in vain.
Often times I think that people like these would be shocked to learn of how they add to non-believers' disdain of Christian hypocrisy.
The answer for my burning outrage is to pray for Jesus to soften hearts and open eyes. I am no less a sinner than those who frustrate me. The Lord needs to get out the 2 x 4 for these people just like He does for me when I ignore the conviction of His Spirit. They need patience and mercy while God awakens them to their lack of compassion.
Still, God has sent me to bear witness to the fact that we are blessed to be a blessing. Those of us raising children through the toughest, most frightening parts of chronic illness or special needs must remember to give back once life becomes more manageable, and sometimes even before. Of all people, we should understand the incredible financial toll that more often than not besets families like ours. As Jehovah Jireh provides for us, we need to cooperate with Him providing for others like us through our wallets. We are not given the light of our experience to keep it under a bushel basket.
Comforting with the same comfort we have received from God -- May this be our mission as we march heavenward."Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV)
PRAY: LORD, let me never forget the ways you bless me every day. Let me also remember that I cannot outgive You! Holy Spirit, open my eyes to those who need my help, and pry me away from my selfishness. Bless others through me, Jesus.
~ Barb Dittrich