The Issue

Friday, February 18, 2022
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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.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    AMEN, Lynne.

    Great message, Lynne! Thanks and blessings!

    Thank you, Lynne, for prompting us to think of the needs of others.

    Thanks Lynne again! Your devotionals are inspiring!!

    Thank you for today’s message! God bless you, and bless us to be able to become useful tools in His hands – as you are!

    Thank you – needed that I have an older friend who hates asking for help, so it is hard to tell some days whether she needs help or not – reminded me to go anyway.

    Meaningful message at these times of shutdowns in Ottawa, Windsor, Emerson, Alberta protesting COVID vaccines that contribute to keeping us all safe. We are only free when we help and respect each other.

    What a broo-ha-ha that was! Scary too! Glad everything resolved and no one was seriously hurt. God is indeed our ultimate protector in times of dire need! Thanks for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Heavy teaching – deeper reaching.
    What am I being called to do today? (not just the laundry)
    Thanks for this reminder to be listening, watching, expecting a call, ready for action!

    Winter greetings, Lynne,
    Too bad you had such a nasty experience and with dogs and kids along, too! However, you always find a message for us to inspire us in one way or another.
    Thank you.

    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how we can help others in need.
    Like you, I receive so many calls for help from many organizations; I need to share what I have to those in need. What we have is from the Lord.

    Dear Lynne,
    Oh my what a situation you found yourselves in especially with the dogs and little children along but in His timing the Lord supplied the right persons to help out. Your words are so right that with faith we still must have action to show the depth of our Lord’s love and care. Thankfully those kind of people showed up in your situation. The Lord is truly good! Blessings for another of your special writings.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    My father was definitely a helper and practiced his faith. My mom would always wonder why people knocked on our door to get help. I think they knocked on other doors but ours was the one where they received help from my dad. My dad would go around at the campsite and see if anyone needed help after he had us all set up. Good memories for me from your story.
    Lynne, you have said it all, hopefully we will all take note and go the extra mile. It is wonderful that you did get the help you needed and that there are people out there willing to help.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your stories with us in order for us all to think about and realize what is important and what action we can take.
    May you enjoy your day and winter in Atlin. Spring in on its way. Blessings.

    Dear Lynne,
    In my prayers, I ask for guidance to seek opportunities to know where I can help others. Then, I have to put it into action with what I can do.
    As I age, I know that it’s not as easy physically and with the pandemic it is tricky. However, there are numerous ways that I can decide to what I can respond, with prayer. So, your message today hit a nerve with deciding what I keep wanting to do and follow through.
    You certainly know what it is like through your experience of being stuck with no action of help while travelling. Finally, it worked out for you and there are people who respond if you can reach them. God does work in mysterious ways.
    Thank you, Lynne, for your many inspiring and thoughtful messages through PresbyCan Devotions. You do have a knack for “hitting the nail on the head” for me. Keep using your God given talent.

    Good message, Lynne! Thank you!

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