Ready And Willing?

Friday, July 20, 2018
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rock Of Ages Cleft For Me"1 (Lyrics)

I believe that God is continually eager to use us to help others if we are ready and willing.

On June 29th of this year in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a blind gentleman stumbled and fell from the subway platform onto the tracks. A brave young man jumped onto the tracks and, with the help of others, was able to lift the man safely back onto the platform. I have been on that subway platform many times. If, however, God had chosen me to be present on that occasion, I would hope that I would also have been willing to help, although at the age of 85, I certainly wasn't ready to help!

Two days previously to this, I attended a performance of The Phantom of the Opera with several other residents of the seniors' residence where I reside. I wasn't feeling too well and almost didn't go, but my daughter encouraged me to go. Neither she nor I knew that there was an eleven-year-old boy who needed help, and I was ready and willing to help.

When we took our places, I was seated beside this boy, Patrick, with his mother, who had just flown in from Calgary, Alberta, the previous day. Immediately behind us were four ladies from my residence, two of whom were ninety-five years old. I jokingly told Patrick that four vicious-looking girls were sitting behind us. He agreed that he would help to protect me and pretended to put a hex on them. They responded to the joking in kind.

The interesting conversation continued to be very friendly except when I asked him about siblings, to which he responded abruptly, "I don't want to talk about that!" Although I was surprised, I didn't say anything more.

At intermission, his step-father, who was sitting in a different area, came and took him for a break. Patrick's mother then explained that he did have two sisters, but due to a bad situation, Patrick had not been allowed to see his biological father or sisters for several years. On top of that, he was autistic. I just felt heart-sick. Here was a little boy with huge needs, and God had seated me beside him!

On his return from the break, Patrick was even more animated, sharing with me the excitement of the performance details. It was a delightful afternoon, and at its conclusion as we were preparing to leave, Patrick gave me a great big hug. Obviously, God had placed us together for a few hours — an older man, who was feeling under the weather but needing the excitement of a young man, and a young boy, who needed some of the love that was missing from his own family situation.

On the return trip to our residence, a staff member, who has an eleven-year-old son, stated that she felt that Patrick would remember more vividly the fun of his exchanges with the older ladies and me than the outstanding opera performance.

I may never see that young boy again. I do know, however, that I am glad that I was ready and willing.

Are you ready and willing when God places you in the right place to help others?

Jeremiah 29:11 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

Prayer: God, help each of us to be ready and willing to help others. Grant us the excitement that comes from watching You use us, particularly when we don't expect it. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Excellent sharing.

    A great word, Vincent.

    Thank you. We are never too old to serve the Lord.

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this touching devotional story with us. Blessings.

    Great word today Vincent.

    What a lovely story. Neither of us could have helped the man in the subway but He offers opportunities that fit our situation.

    Dear Vincent,
    Truly an inspiring devotional. Thanks for sharing and I hope we can all be ready and willing. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks, this was good. Children are such a blessing. This young boy may not have grandparents around and you and the other seniors showed him friendship that was unconditional at the moment. What a nice time for you to have him brighten your day. God is good.

    Thanks for sharing this story, Vincent. I have been the official photographer at VBS are our church and what a joy it is to watch the children and their leaders together and to interact with children and their patents/grandparents as I manned the registration table as well. Blessings.

    Thank you for your good writing. I have found that when God wants me, I find myself agreeing to tasks even though inside I’m not willing. With faith, I’m always ok but I have had doubts that the right one was in the right place! I am often not expecting all the variations of today’s modern families. Lucky you! Phantom is great, isn’t it?

    Hi Walter,
    Another good devotional, for which many thanks. You are right, there are times when we talk or listen to people and we don’t realize how our actions are appreciated until later. You too are making a difference.

    It amazes me how God uses you in such simple and beautiful ways. God bless you for being open and ready, and willing to God’s plans!!!!! I sure wish we lived closer, it would be so nice to visit and talk, I do not know you but you have a special spot in my heart!!! God bless you as you bless others, fill you back up again with the Holy Spirit as you pour out to others!!!!

    Dear Vincent….How very heartwarming your message is! I was touched by your caring and compassion, and share the same sentiment, i.e. we must be ready and willing to help those near us. As well, Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favourite verses, and I needed to be reminded of the promise within. Thank you for sharing your kind words and deeds, and Blessings be upon you!

    Good Morning Vincent,
    Thank you for knowing how to respond when you were put “in the right place at the right time”. Others might have probed the young boy further, you did not. I agree with your staff member’s statement, which brings to mind the Maya Angela quote that says “people may not remember exactly what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel”.

    Dear Mr Walter,
    Thanks for your inspiring words in the Presbycan Daily Devotional today.
    I almost didn’t read it today but something said go ahead read what’s written here, so I did. I am 76 and feeling a little intimidated about having 2 ten year old girls for lunch today. After reading your devotional and prayer I am now ready and willing to have the girls and see why God needs me to do this.
    Thank you so much for sharing your trip to the Phantom with me.

    Greetings Walter,
    Many thanks for writing this morning’s inspiring devotional. I’m sure that young boy enjoyed and will remember time spent with you and your group that day. Yes, it is important that we be ready and aware to reach out and help others whenever opportunity arrives. Blessings to you and may you continue to feel moved to contribute devotionals.

    Loved your story of the 11 year old boy and I am sure that the boy’s best memories were of the 4 vicous ladies and protecting you, it is like a wait person in a restaurant that is the person who makes your dinner enjoyable not necessarily the food, if you have an efficient but cold wait person you just go through the motions but you have a wait person who appears to care if you enjoy your meal and as I have allergies goes the extra mile for me to have a nice dinner. Not like the one restaurant, now out of business that said “I do not know why people like you, with allergies, don’t just eat at home.”

    Dear brother Vincent thank you for today’s devotional “Ready and Willing.” What a Blessing you were to Patrick, one I believe has impacted his life in a very positive way.
    And what a blessing you are to us reader’s may we indeed be ready and willing to be used by God!
    Thank you!

    Dear Vincent Walter,
    Thank you for your devotion.
    May we be willing to help – even to teaching the truth of God’s salvation for all – including the unusual, the handicapped, and those overlooked by many.
    In Jesus’ name, we pray for fitting words and fitting actions.
    Keep writing for Jesus’ sake.

    Vincent – thank you for this devotional and for sharing how God used an experience both to instruct you and to comfort another. Isn’t it amazing how he places us in the right place at the right time – despite our reluctance. It doesn’t matter our age nor or circumstances – God has work for all of us to do. May God bless you.

    Hello Vincent,
    Thank you for sharing this experience with us all. It is moving to read of how God used you and the others that day, in a simple but important situation – especially for the boy. Your message is a good call to humble ourselves and to “love the Lord your God…and your neighbour as yourself”. (Matt.22:37,39).
    Blessings, and a continued, exciting walk with the Lord!

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