I used to volunteer in a very busy emergency room. On every shift, I had to drop my ego on the doorstep as I entered the hospital. Caring for others puts your own problems into perspective. Most of the people were experiencing terrible health crises. They demanded careful attention and compassion, and I could offer them no less than my undivided attention. For my four-hour shift, I was working to help others, and by the time I finished, my own life’s problems seemed terribly insignificant. When we are able to help others, that service pulls us out of our own issues and blesses others who need assistance.
Jesus cares deeply for those who are in need. That means our hearts are supposed to embrace their burdens as well. Where Jesus sees darkness, he actively pierces it with his brilliance. He listens for the cry of the hungry and leans into the difficulties of those who are in trouble. He searches for the wounded and lends his shoulders to those in need. He patiently heals and persistently rejoices when people find life through his hands.
When we voluntarily serve others in their times of need, like Jesus, we shine the light of God in the darkness.
1. Think back to a time in your life when you were struggling through a difficult situation. For a moment, let yourself remember how it felt to be overwhelmed in that circumstance.
2. Now think back to a specific time when someone came to your aid. How was their support like a light shining in the darkness?
3. Jesus said that he came to serve, not to be served. How would the world be different if more people took this approach to their daily activities?
4. How does serving others impact our own attitude about life?
Lord Jesus, thank you for serving me in my own needs. In times of trouble, you have been ever present with me. I look back at my darkest moments and see that you were there. So now I ask that you use me to bless others who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Let my heart by attentive to those in need and let my hands be ready to serve generously. Amen.
Bring a homeless person a meal, or volunteer to serve at a soup kitchen, and bring a friend with you. Take specific steps today to serve others and share your activities on social media using #LTBL (let there be light).