"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) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. - Romans 12: 9-13, NIV -
Several years ago, I was in a mood (and not a good one). Caring for a child with special and medical needs made me feel like I had nothing left to give to anyone else. So, I didn’t even try to do anything for anyone above the social norm. I didn’t go out of my way to really show my love to other people who were in need. I had a good excuse after all. My daughter took all my time, attention, and energy, which was a fact that no one close to me would deny.
In my prayer time, God reminded how important it was to think of others no matter what your own situation was. God challenged me to do something for one person each week to show love to others. This challenge would not only provide encouragement for other people but also help me to be less focused on myself. There are needs all around us and people who need to know God cares. God needs people to show His care to others, and I felt He was calling me to practice this.
So for the past few years, I have tried to do this very thing. I occasionally miss a week or two, but overall I have stuck to the plan of encouraging or helping one person/organization a week.
What have I done? Most of the time, I do little things like sending a text or an email to a friend. I may send a scripture or just let them know I’m thinking of them. I have sent cards (some anonymously) in the mail to widows, people recovering from an illness, someone I haven’t talked to in a while, or someone who serves in ministry.
I have given things away. I have donated clothes or blankets to families in need that I come across. I have made meals for families with a sick or an injured loved one. I have donated my time or money to various organizations too.
I have done some random things. I have left a more than typical tip for a hard-working waitress. I have left a small snack in the mailbox for the mailman. You get the idea. I did many things. Some were at no cost to me and others were not.
I do not share this challenge I have been doing with you to brag on myself. Instead, I would like to extend this challenge to you. Will you be willing to go beyond yourself and reach out to one person a week this year? You can be Jesus to 52 people this year by completing small or large acts. Ask God to show you a person or organization to help every week, and I believe He will put something on your heart. I have never run out of ideas since I have started.
If you are struggling with self-pity or feeling exhausted as a caregiver, then I especially pray that you will consider doing this. You may feel empty now, but the love going out of you in service will fill you back up to do your care giving even better. Your act may just be the hope that someone needed.
Pray:God, Help us to honor and love people around us. Even when we are busy with our children and our lives, help us to remember to put others first. Give us your heart for loving people, and show us ways to do that. Amen!