Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Sweet By And By"1 (Lyrics)
We were headed to Whitehorse, Yukon, with three dogs and two kids under five. An unexpected snowstorm was making driving very difficult.
My daughter, needing to find a rest stop, pulled into one that we have used frequently. I didn't think that we should go in due to the snow depth, but she felt that it would be fine. Uh huh! So much for that idea. Getting in was no problem. Getting out was quite another. We were stuck, and no amount of shovelling or pushing was getting us anywhere. The snow was still pouring down, it was pitch black, and though we called a number of tow companies, none was available to help.
I texted our location to the business that we were headed for, letting them know that we were stuck in deep snow and had been unable to get any help. We would therefore not be on time for our appointment. They texted back, "So sorry. Stay safe."
As I read the text, this Scripture jumped into my mind:
James 2:15-17 – Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)
Perhaps, the people whom I had texted were unable to offer any kind of aid — I really don't know. The issue, however, is that we live in a world where so many people need aid of one kind or another. I know that I am inundated weekly with requests for help from dozens of charities and organizations — and I expect that you are, too. Though I cannot respond to everyone, any more than you can, as God's people, we must reach out to help as many as possible and not just to think or say, "So sorry. Stay safe."
God has called us to be generous people, and He loves and blesses the cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (NIV)
In the end, we contacted an employee of a company that my daughter's business deals with, and he came immediately to lend a hand. Then, he, too, got stuck! But then, an older gentleman stopped, along with someone in a passing truck. These two fellows rescued our first helper, who then, in turn, rescued us.
Two and a half hours later, we were back on the road. Why? Because all three of these people not only saw our situation, but also reached out with appropriate and generous action.
May we, as God's people, make a point of doing likewise, whenever and wherever we can, in regard to helping others less fortunate than ourselves. For, as the Lord has spoken through James, the issue is that "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
Prayer: Father God, help us, as Your people, to be people of action and not just faith. Guide and direct us to use the resources with which You have blessed us to come to the aid of those less fortunate. May each and every one of us be a cheerful and generous giver, that Your name may be glorified throughout the earth. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.