My friend, may I ask you a question? Since pain typically leads to suffering and suffering often extends pain, are they not the same thing? Although it is true these are linked, it isn’t universally true that they need be. Suffering may be typical, but is it unavoidable? Must we always go through suffering after pain, or is there another place to go far better?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Years ago I passed a car hopelessly stranded in a ditch. Since I had good clothes on, I didn’t feel inclined to stop and get all wet. Nevertheless, I slowed down and pulled over. Perhaps I could call a tow or at least give the guy a warm place to sit until the county sheriff arrived. He willingly hopped into my car but anxiously told me that he had already called a tow but that it might be hours in this weather for it to arrive. “Could I give him a tow?” he reluctantly asked. He was sure my four-wheel drive vehicle could extricate him?
He wanted me to take the “second step.” You know, that submitting step right after you determine you want to help but not put yourself into harm’s way. I got my shoes wet but was able to pull him out. In this case, the “first step” was good but not good enough. Sometimes we need to submit ourselves to that extra commitment when the work requires it.
Here’s a story. During the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repairing a small defensive barrier. Their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, “Sir, I am a corporal!” The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, “Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again.” It was none other than George Washington. (Today in the Word, March 6, 1991.)
It’s hard to push beyond the first step when others need our help and commitment. We are often quick to give advice, even lend a simple hand. But, when it comes to submitting ourselves to that next level, the one that requires us to sacrifice, we aren’t often so inclined. True Christian submission begins at that second level and not at the first. If Christ had not been willing to go beyond the level of nice guy, where would you and I be today? He went the extra mile for us. The least we can do is go the extra mile for others.
We pray. Heavenly Father, Your Word tells us that Christian living is all about others and not ourselves. Putting others before us is a difficult thing to do Lord because our first inclination when others need help is “perhaps someone else could be of more help?” or “I could be taking too great a risk to offer a stranger help?” Forgive us Father when our first thoughts are thoughts of us and not of others. Give us the inclination by Your Holy Spirit to always be willing to lead a hand, be of help, and have mercy on anyone who needs it. When an extra effort is needed, may it be that we are the ones to fill that need. In Jesus name we pray. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.