Tag Archive | God

Actively Caring

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)

Pick up any magazine or newspaper and you’d likely find a story of some celebrity helping out others less fortunate. Whether it’s Oprah giving away– well, anything you can think of, or Brad Pitt helping rebuild New Orleans (is he still doing that?), or Michael J. Fox and his involvement in Parkinson’s research, the rich and famous are famous for sharing their riches. The thing is, after sharing (and sharing generously), they are still rich.

This verse speaks of actively helping out others. Not just offering, but finding ways to get the help to those who need it. Kind of like the difference between having a food bank, or going and dropping off boxes on someone’s doorstep. As Christians, we are to help others. Scripture mandates it. We are to share with other Christians, opening our homes and resources to those who have need. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. (Acts 4:32) and As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10). We are to be a Light, a Beacon, to a weary and lost world, and meeting needs can speak volumes to a hungry soul. We are not saved by our good works, but we are known by our love. James 2 explains how faith without works is dead, and Ephesians 2 tells us why works alone cannot save: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)

It’s good for those who have to share with those who have not. But the Bible tells us it’s a special thing for one who has not to share with those who have even less. Luke 21:2-4 describes a poor woman giving all. 1 Kings 17 tells of a poor woman in desperate times, who was called on to share what little she had with the prophet Elijah and was blessed because of it.

Our Proverbs 31 Woman actively sought to help and bless others. We’ve seen already that she was an incredibly busy woman, but that didn’t stop her from reaching out. May we not use the excuse that we are too busy when we see a need. May we not use the excuse that we’ll be left wanting if we give to someone with less. The “Proverbs 32” woman is too busy, too poor, too self-absorbed. Lord, help me to not be her.

 

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Busy hands, happy heart

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. (Proverbs 31:19)

I have a friend who is a truly artsy-fartsy type. She amazes me, really, with the stuff she can do. The first time I was at her house, she showed me her quilts. LOTS of them. On beds. In closets. On shelves. In bins. Quilts finished, and quilts in various stages of life. She showed me her plants: flower gardens (old-fashioned, belonging very much to another time– not a pristine manicured affair for sure), houseplants (“Take this piece home with you– you can’t kill it.” I did). She makes jewellery, and sells buttons (Yes, buttons. Vintage, mostly. On etsy.com, and had buyers!). And she makes soap. The kind that would really confuse a kid should you ever try to wash their mouth out with it– chocolate, bubblegum, vanilla, coffee, you name it, I think she’s made it. She has used a spindle, and spun yarn. And yes, she’s even a homeschooler. This summer her family is serving at a NCEM Bible camp. She makes me tired. And makes me look really bad. I don’t have half her ambition or gumption. Good thing I’m not compared to my friend in God’s eyes, eh?

But the thing is– I think this verse doesn’t neccessarily mandates what we are supposed to do, but points to the “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord” concept. There is a measure of accomplishment in working with your own hands. I like seeing a loaf of bread that I made, or a dress I sewed. Not everyone is able to do these things, but those who do generally find satisfaction in it– even if the results stink.

Today is a day to find things for my hands to do, whether I weed my garden, or feed the chickens; whether finish those pajama pants, or cuddle a toddler. Maybe the trick is just to concentrate on serving others, and my hands will be busy.