Thy Neighbor | Loving Others through God’s ProvisionsOctober 18, 2014 - Author: Bernadette Saddik
How many times have I looked someone straight in the eye while he cried? And I couldn’t even see the tears because he swallowed them, hiding from the cruel public.
How many times have I listened to someone’s words, but not her voice? And I couldn’t even hear the slight tremor she so tightly controlled, hiding from the cruel public.
How many times have I looked in the faces of people who silently scream their pain, their anger, their grief? How many times have I ignored the habits that hide the evidence?
There are many hurting people in this world. And it is so easy to look past them. I know. We all have our own burdens, and we often don’t seem to have the bandwidth to do anything about it.
But I have to remind myself of when Christ explains to the woman at the well that “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14 KJV)
So, if we drink the Living Water, we fill ourselves with God’s love, because love is enduring, and love (God) leads to eternal life (1 Corinthians 13).
If it is God’s love that drives our actions, then by His power and His resources we can get the bandwidth to love our neighbor. To illustrate:
Remember the woman who Elijah approached for something to eat? She was a widow who had only enough food for a scant last meal for her and her son during a terrible drought.
The Lord provided her with enough flour and oil for Elijah, herself, and her son for as long as they needed. In her own shortage, God gave her enough to provide for another. (1 Kings 17:7-16)
Remember how many times Paul was imprisoned? Often chained, he still sang praise and ministered to those around him.
The Lord gave him strength to provide encouragement and guidance for others even in his own hardship. (Acts 16:22-34, Acts 22, Philippians 1:12-28, Colossians 4:7-18, and many other references)
In short: God provides for the paths through which He leads us (1 Peter 4:10-11).
I apologize for all the opportunities I missed to pray for you, to tell you, “You’re not alone,” to simply acknowledge that you are not really ‘fine.’
And from now on, I am going to strive to live with an an open mind to God’s direction and an open heart to His generous provisions.
Care to join me?
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:16-21