Background: Waiting for the elevator at work. The doors open and the man on the elevator asks, “You going down”? I’m trying to go up, but the man that gets on the elevator states, “Yeah, just like my life”.
20 She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].
I was floored when I heard the man say this. Could it really be that bad? Is he just magnifying his situation so it appears it is bigger than what it really is? Is his life in danger? All kinds of questions float through my mind. I prayed for the man as I stood waiting for the next elevator. I’ve had some tough times in my life, but I never got to the point where I would say that my life was going down. I have too many beautiful blessings around me for that to ever be true.
But what if all of that man’s beautiful blessings had been stripped away, leaving his heart to grieve. Or what if he just got a bad report about his health? We never know the true depths of someone else’s plight. In some cases we do, because we’ve had to walk in their shoes. For those of us who know our God and trust him, although the thought of our lives spiraling down may cross our minds, our faith turns our eyes to the Father. And this is our duty for others who are physically, mentally and spiritually poor or needy.
Among all the other things a P31 does, stretching forth her hand to the poor and needy is another attribute. I call it an attribute and not a duty because not everyone has a heart for other people. Its not that they are insensitive or mean, they just may not pick up on the subtle cries for help that others knowingly and unknowingly express. For some, helping the poor and needy is the core of their P31ness. Others are strongest at business, while another may be best at ministering to her family. But we all have the capacity to do all of those things well. I believe God gives us more opportunities in our areas of strength, so that we are most impactful. And our areas of strength will most likely be what we pour into those who are poor and needy.
We all are guilty of missing opportunities that God gift wraps for us. But I’m determined to make that a rare occurrence in my life. When we pour ourselves into others, we make room for God to fill us with even more, so that when our next opportunity arises we can be even more impactful. We must train ourselves to be sensitive to the cries of others. Some are obvious while others take a skilled person to recognize. God won’t bring us to a situation for us to fail. And even if the first shot at the opportunity seems like a failure, just know that that opportunity isn’t over, that was just round 1. Lastly do everything in love, not out of necessity or to be seen or heard.
I’m so grateful for the lives that are documented in our Bible. They weren’t heros. They were simply obedient. And that is all that is required of us.
References: Proverbs 31:20