March 2024

Care Giving

The cherry trees are in full bloom. They are early bloomers of the flora in this area and herald the coming of Spring. They have opened their beautiful flowers in praise of the Creator, and I am grateful to add my praise to theirs. As I witness the glory of His creation in this season of new beginnings, I am mindful of His care and the capacity that He forms in us to care.

I remember countless times when others have cared for me. Tender moments of shared experience, practical help in times of need, and understanding of what a circumstance has cost me. Those precious ones who have stood with me and by me to help, to pray, to share the load.

One such event occurred many years ago when I was struggling with limited resources. I had two toddlers at home, a child in elementary school and trying desperately to hold myself together in the midst of a troubled marriage. And for some reason I was suddenly overwhelmed with the state of my home. It seemed as if everything needed doing at once: the laundry, the floors, the bathrooms, the windows…how had it gotten to this mess? As I was spiraling into a pit of self-loathing, a friend called to see how I was doing. In a rare moment of transparency, I gave an honest report. She said, “I’ll be right there.”

She came, took a good look, gave me a quick hug and went to work. Between the two of us, it was all put right within a couple of hours, even the windows. As I was beginning to be a bit bashful about it and apologizing for my lack of industry, she remarked, “Nonsense. This is just crumbs.” I was instantly released to receive her help and found a gratitude that was free of self-awareness. I had been cared for.

The fruit of that sincere care was more than the order that practical help restored. She came to me that day in the authority and the name of Jesus. The life of Christ was poured out, and I was strengthened, encourage and inspired. It was care with eternal ramifications.

“But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:24b-26 ESV)

Dear One, who in your life needs care? Who, in your life, has cared for you? I encourage you to receive care when it is offered and to give care sincerely and consistently. God is building His Church, and He is doing it by transforming us into care givers. We are not afraid to give all we have, because all we have is His. Truly, it is His life and love at work in us.

Until next week, beloved, receive His care for you, and give care in Jesus’ name.

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