Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 2:4-10 – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)
God seems to prepare things for us in even the simplest of ways.
Recently, a neighbour shared with me her upset and then her happiness from incidents that occurred during a shopping trip.
Having completed her task of picking up a few items, she was placing them carefully on the checkout area when a man behind her became obnoxious. He told her that she should put them on the belt more quickly and closer to the person in front of her. Eventually, she told him to put his purchases ahead of hers so that he would be checked out first, assuming that he would then be satisfied. But he paid his bill and then left, still snorting unkind words to this patient lady.
She was then approached by another lady, who had observed the entire episode, and she asked her to join her in some refreshments. Together these two strangers had a most pleasant visit, feeling sorry for the man who had been obnoxious.
My neighbour told me that she was both upset and thankful for her visit to Walmart that day.
As I pondered her comments, I realized that even the simplest things that occur in our lives can change depending on our reactions to them.
We are constantly interacting with other people. Sometimes, we might act like that pushy man, wanting what we feel is best for us. But what we end up with is upset people, and ourselves being the most hurting ones. Or we can be like the kind lady, observing someone's need and offering to help meet that need.
It was such a simple action — buying a drink and giving fifteen minutes of time — but resulting in a person who had been hurt leaving with a feeling of happiness.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for the opportunities that You give us to help others. May we always be ready to respond positively to those opportunities and thus spread Your love to others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.