Today's Devotional Thought
July 11, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Shelly was used to the problem. She usually had it when she went to restaurants. You see, most tables in restaurants are too low or the legs are too close together for her to get her wheelchair underneath the table so she can eat. So, oftentimes she struggles when she eats in restaurants. Sometimes her husband has to feed her or she has to balance her plate on her lap so that she can eat. It’s difficult, embarrassing, and sometimes messy. And, while she is used to having this problem in restaurants, she still struggled that day. And then she was stunned when the waiter came rushing over with four telephone books. And within seconds, he and another waiter had lifted the table and put one telephone book under each leg, lifting the table high enough for her to move her wheelchair underneath and giving her the opportunity to eat like everyone else. She was very grateful that they had the idea to raise the table, but she was even more grateful that they noticed her struggle.
When someone around you has a problem or is struggling with a situation, do you notice? And, when you do notice someone struggling around you, do you jump in to help?
Throughout the New Testament, we are repeatedly called to serve others. I Peter 4:10 tells us, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in various forms.” Furthermore, Philippians 2: 3-4 states, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” And Ephesians 4:32 instructs us to be “kind to one another, tenderhearted.”
We all are repeatedly called to serve others, to be kind to one another, to be tenderhearted, and to love others. And, as it says in Philippians 2:3-4, our acts of kindness and service begin by looking not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. If you are going to serve others, you have to notice them. You have to be aware of how someone else is hurting, struggling, or needing help. So often we get caught up in our own problems and stressors that we fail to notice those around us who God has placed in our lives to help.
Showing kindness and tenderheartedness means being aware of problems and earnestly searching for ways to help others. And sometimes the way you can help takes a non-traditional form. Sometimes, it is gathering four telephone books to raise a table so that a woman in a wheelchair can eat dinner like others around her. Sometimes, it is cutting a hole in the roof so that you can lower your friend down to the feet of Jesus for healing. Sometimes, it is helping your best friend escape your father’s schemes to kill him so that he can become the next King of Israel. But regardless of the type of help you give, it begins with awareness. It begins by noticing that someone around you has a need.
We are all called to serve others. And service includes awareness of needs, tenderness of heart, and swiftness of action. Ask the Lord to make you more aware, tenderhearted, and swift to act today.