Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 13:16 – And don't forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. (NLT)
We sat on the porch and watched the messengers of mercy come, one after the other.
My wife and I were visiting a shut-in couple from our church when the mercy bringers arrived. As we enjoyed the cool fall weather, I watched the front door of the house across the road open. A lady with a covered tray walked out and made her way across the street. She strolled up the couple's front steps and told them that she had made them supper. As she named off the southern meats and vegetables under the foil, the husband's mouth watered. She took the meal inside, placed it on their table, made a few minutes of small talk, and then left.
A few more minutes of conversation passed when a neighbour on the left walked over with a plastic bag and said, "Thank you, Papa, for watching my kids."
"You're welcome, honey," he said.
I wondered how he had watched her kids, since he can hardly care for himself or his wife. His eyes lit up as he looked inside and discovered six packs of bologna — one of his favourite meats to fry for a sandwich.
"Thank you, Lord," he whispered, as tears dotted his eyes while his neighbour walked away.
Both mercy deliverers were from different races and cultures — one an African American and the other Hispanic. But it mattered not to this couple living in a neighbourhood that had changed drastically since they had purchased their home 50 years before. God had sent His messengers, and they were thankful.
Like most people, I sometimes focus more on my needs than on the needs of others. I want God to send people to help me, but I forget that He wants to send me to deliver mercy as well. Putting my eyes and hands on others relieves the emotional intensity of the hardships that I might be facing, and reminds me that I don't have to look far to find people who are in more dire straits than I am.
Opportunities to be used as God's messengers of mercy abound. Being one requires living with intentionality, desire, love, and openness to the opportunities that God places all around us.
Ask God to send you opportunities to show mercy to others.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the privilege of serving as Your hands and feet in this world. Amen.