By Carol Round – “The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles”— Psalm 34:17(NLT).
When I saw flashing lights from law enforcement officers parked in the middle of the road, I did a double take. My mouth fell open as I saw why they’d stopped.
A pickup truck was stranded on the highway with only three tires. The fourth was lying in a nearby ditch. Since I didn’t see a jack propping up the vehicle, I assumed it had fallen off while in transit.
After arriving home, I couldn’t get the picture of the accident out of my mind. I was so glad no one was hurt and the truck driver had help from the police officers.
Called to Help Others
Throughout scripture, God instructs us to love others. One of the simplest ways to love is by helping when we see others in need. Giving our time, money, or energy to help someone in need is a sign of a mature Christian.
There are times when I’ve ignored that still, small voice telling me to stop and help a stranger in need. However, as my walk with the Lord has grown, I’ve obeyed. The blessings I’ve received from those encounters have far outweighed any perceived inconvenience in my rush to get things done that day.
Galatians 6:9 tells us that we should “not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” In other words, no matter how inconvenient it might be to help others, if we seek a life of loving others and serving others, we will be rewarded. Many take this to believe we’ll be rewarded monetarily.
Storing Up Treasures in Heaven
Many of Jesus’ most famous teachings come from The Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:19-21, He says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
How often do we stop and examine our hearts or our motives? Are we helping others, thinking we’re earning brownie points with God? Or maybe we’re hoarding the blessings God has given us.
A recent conversation with a visitor to our church’s Amazing Grace ministries reminded me of how blessed I am. As she shopped for free clothing, she shared her story and what had led to her need for help. Her husband had been forced into early retirement when the company he worked for sold. She further explained the troubles that followed: his health issues, raising grandchildren, and of course, the increase in the cost of living. But she was also apologetic and embarrassed about needing our assistance.
When Trouble Comes Calling
In Psalm 34:17-18, we’re reminded of the Lord’s response when we’re in trouble. He hears us. Rescues us. He’s close to the brokenhearted and those who are crushed in spirit. Over and over, we’re reminded in scripture to trust God. To expect aid when we ask for it. And He uses us to assist those who are broken, lost, and in desperate need.
Because He lived a simple life, Jesus relied on the generosity of others during his three-year ministry. Even though He had the power to call on His Father for any need that might arise, He chose to rely on those around Him to provide. To preach from the water, He borrowed Simon’s boat; to ride into Jerusalem, He borrowed a donkey; for the Last Supper, He borrowed a room; and after His death, He was placed in a borrowed tomb.
Just as Jesus counted on others, there are people who count on us. We need to extend kindness and generosity and express gratitude for what we’ve received by God’s amazing grace.