For The Good Of Others

Friday, April 26, 2024
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord Who Reigns Above"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 16:25 – [Jesus said] "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it." (NLT)

Some years ago, my husband received a phone call from a social worker in a neighbouring province: "Could you take your mother in?" I had recently returned to our home in rural Alberta, Canada, after visiting my mother-in-law in hospital there. She was referred to endearingly as "Mother-Dear", a tongue-in-cheek nickname that her children had given her. Acute physical issues had caused her to be admitted, but the doctor's assessment of her persistent, annoying requests was "importunate", as if Mother-Dear still demanded the attention that she had craved during her troubled childhood.

When we first heard that she was in hospital, God distinctly impressed me that I should go and visit her. I wasn't sure how to accomplish this. Through a series of miracles, though, I was able to leave my teaching job, even before spring break began, and hitch a ride with an acquaintance who was going that way, a journey of more than eight hours. Now Mother-Dear had been in the hospital nearly a month, and had improved so much that she no longer qualified for the long-term program that the doctor had initially targeted for her. Hence, the phone call.

It was a daunting prospect, but Terry and I knew that we had to offer her a home with us. We saw that God was asking us to give up our right to the comfort and privacy of our own home out of love for someone weak and powerless, so that she could get better and even flourish.

"How can we ever do this?" I asked our pastor's wife.

"If God is leading you, He will provide what you need to for the task," she replied.

So that we wouldn't miss too much school, we left during the night to pick up Mother-Dear. She was so happy and relieved that we would take her in.

At first, Mother-Dear clung closely to me, and needed help with the smallest of tasks. As the months went by, she flourished in the atmosphere of the small Bible college on whose campus we lived, and that included the Christian school where we taught. She lapped up the care and attention of the college students as we took part in campus activities. Bit by bit, Mother-Dear became sure of her position as a child of God, and we witnessed her faith and trust in God blossom. The 17 months that she stayed with us were not easy, but by taking in Terry's mother with God's help, we laid aside our own rights in order to benefit someone else.

Let's do our best to live not for ourselves, "but for the good of others". (1 Corinthians 10:24b NLT)

Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that we live to benefit others and not for ourselves alone, for that's how You want us to live, even when we're inconvenienced. May whatever we do be done all for Your glory. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Alice Burnett <>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Alice.

    We’re there now too, Alice.

    Thanks for a very touching post and a great reminder, Alice. God bless!

    Mother dear is one of many – prayer helps families make the right decisions.

    Thank you, Alice for this testimony. May we all find ourselves able to do the same.

    A witness to the love of God at work through His people. Thanks Alice!

    Thank you for sharing this heartening devotional with us today! To God be the glory! Blessings.

    Thank you, Alice, for sharing this today. I too had a Mother-Dear so I understand completely. Lord bless you for taking her in.

    Alice – This devotional depicts the other side of my situation, when my son and his wife were faced with the challenges of incorporating me into their life and home. God certainly works wonders.

    Hello Alice
    Thank you for this, I just forwarded it to my sister who is going through something like this. Definitely not easy but with God’s help they are doing it. She asks for prayer!!!
    God bless.

    Thanks, Alice, for your devotional. You did the right move in taking your Mother-in-law into your care even though it was probably an extra load at times. When we reach out to help others, we never really know what we might encounter but, in most cases, it is a beneficial result for both involved and truly a deed Jesus would do. Blessings for taking on the job you did and also blessings for your very special writings.

    I could really relate to your story this morning. For my husband and I, it is our daughter (who is deaf) that we took in. Her husband left and she had to sell the house they had been living in. My husband built an apartment for her so that she could come and live with us as she had nowhere else to go. It has been a long 2 years! Getting her house ready to sell, selling it, and moving her into our home, finishing the apartment, and sorting out everyone’s “stuff”. This following a year of going through my brother’s “stuff” when he passed away from Covid. Without God’s help we couldn’t have done it!

    Well done, not only in what you took on in spite of all that it would mean in terms of your own personal lives, but also in sharing this story with others who, like me, have just entered that time when we have to live for someone else, and no longer have time or energy for our own lives.
    It’s wonderful knowing that we’re doing “the right thing” but the effort is endless and it’s a constant struggle to hold onto the LORD, physically and emotionally. Praise God for HIS promise never to leave us, nor forsake us. It’s also amazing to witness (experience) the many blessings that we would never have seen or experience, and appreciated, without the struggle. Thank you for this encouraging shared experience.

    Alice today’s devotional took me back to when my husband and I, though at different times also had our mothers come to live with us. My mother had cancer and my husband’s mother Alzheimers.
    We also had a very young grandson living with us during the time we cared for both of our mothers so I know how challenging and difficult things may have been for you and your husband.
    I could not have done it without Jesus! Both of our mothers are at home with Jesus now.
    Thank God for you and your husband’s willing and loving hearts, and what a great reward to actually have witnessed in “Mother-Dear” a Godly change. Praise the Lord! Great devotional!

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Just re-read it again. Blessings.

Previous Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.