One of my good friends texted yesterday that she wished she could take action for the suffering, for those in Lebanon and France and share the hope of Christ. Don’t we all feel this right now? wishing we could do more than just pray.
But my friend prompted a very true and recurrent truth; there are those hurting all around us, everyday, everywhere we go. All we have to do is open our eyes.
This truth is a constant because we live in a broken and fallen world; a truth that will not change until the second coming of Christ. So what does God say about this?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NASB
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:2-5 NASB
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;” James 1:22-23 NASB
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:14, 16 NASB
“In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Jude 1:18-23 NASB
(These verses are but a very few)
It is well when our compassion is awakened with such horrible tragedies, and I say to those that are able,”go” if you are called to go. But I think it is so easy to be passive in the environment around us, because daily life just sweeps us along and time is but a current on which we cannot escape. But, we are on a current directed by God, smooth sailing, rocks, marshes, white water and all. But beyond being exactly where He would have us be for the shaping of our faith and the growing of our souls; I pray that He opens our spiritual eyes to who He has placed in our path and all around us in our daily lives that need us, and sometimes us them.
A well known teacher said he is often asked: “I don’t know what my ministry is? I don’t know my calling?….”.
To which he rhetorically replies “what is your story? What is your testimony? What have you suffered? …..This is your ministry”.
So some of us are called to go forth, but many are called to simply open their eyes and reach out a hand. Everyone of us has something to offer, everyone of us is further down along the path than others called to walk the same way. What is the use of trials and tribulations in light of ministry? 2 Corinthians 2:4
My calling (if you haven’t guessed 😉) is the invisible illness community; the shunned, the long-long-long-suffering, those who are turned away, not believed, without hope, without help.
In the middle of a busy day just stop, turn around, the hurting are beside you.
So, what’s your story? Perhaps you were placed here for such a time as this…..