The Service-Oriented Wife, Day 16
I happened to stop at Starbucks and I was walking out with my grande hazelnut latte, a favorite of mine, when I saw a man sitting on the ground, leaning his head against the wall. He had his eyes closed and his head tilted upward, almost like he was praying. He opened his eyes and asked me, “Hey, do you have a $1.50 to help me get through my day?” I winced, and shook my head saying I never carry cash… which is true.
Every step closer to my car I felt so guilty. Why? I asked myself. The guy was obviously homeless, but who’s to say he wouldn’t use my money for drugs or alcohol? This is often what I tell myself to convince myself it’s okay not to help others. I know it’s a jaded way of looking at the world but both my husband and I have had bad experiences with helping people financially.
I got in my car and started out of the parking lot and I heard a still, small voice say, “Hannah, go back.” I shook it off. I didn’t have money anyway. I turned on the radio and I don’t remember the song that was playing but it had something to do with helping the last, the lost, and the least. Argh! Really, Lord? I still pulled out to the stop light and a car nearly cut me off causing me to move over into the lane closest to Starbucks. I changed radio stations and this time the song was about not wanting to get to the end of life and realizing I hadn’t helped the needy. I get it, God! I went through the light but then I just had to turn around in the Target parking lot across the street.
I drove back to Starbucks. I didn’t have any money, but I decided to bring him a water bottle and two snack bars from my trunk. As I stepped out of the vehicle, I expected to feel trepidation, but instead I was overwhelmed with peace that surpasses understanding. I walked up boldly and said, “I don’t know if you remember me but I was just here. You asked me for a dollar fifty, and I don’t have it, but I do have this water and snack bars…” I held it out which he grabbed hungrily. I continued to say that God had told me to come back and I wanted to pray for him. He just smiled and kept saying “thank you” between big bites of the snack bar. I’m so glad I drove back because if I hadn’t I would’ve missed an opportunity to share the love of Jesus.
We often say stuff like… I’m too busy. I don’t have enough money. He’s probably just going to waste it. What if he wants more? I don’t have time to stop. I have my own bills to pay. I do think God wants us to exercise caution, and I don’t think that giving money is the best way to help others. However, I do think that when God asks us to step up, we’ll receive overwhelming confirmation from the Lord.
Proverbs 31:20 says, “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” The Proverbs-31 wife is others-centered. She is compassionate. She helps those less fortunate than herself. She is a servant.
Jesus places a high importance on meeting the physical needs of people. He didn’t come to set Himself up as a High Priest in the temple. He didn’t come to set Himself up as a rich, plundering conqueror, driving Rome out of Israel. He came to be among the people – walking with them, eating with them, healing their ailments, and preaching the Good News.
In Matthew 25:35-36,40 says, “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.‘”
Does this mean we need to feed every person we see on the streets, invite strangers into our home regularly, make clothes for the poor, volunteer at the local hospital, and start a prison ministry? No, I don’t think so. But I do think we need to keep alert for opportunities to serve those in our communities, schools, churches, and workplaces who need help and to serve them joyfully with a heart for the Lord.
What does this have to do with marriage and blessing your husband?
- Service is our greatest calling – the great commission – go out and serve in the Name of Jesus, demonstrating His love in all that you do. In marriage, you have a built-in partner in life to fulfill this calling together.
- Service brings peace, contentment, and joy when done with the right attitude. God says those who bless others will themselves be blessed.
- Service helps you grow in godliness. It opens your eyes to His work in the world around you, and makes you more aware of your need for Christ.
- Service provides an opportunity for bonding. You grow together in spiritual intimacy when you jointly help others as you work side-by-side to fulfill God’s calling.
- Service strengthens the infrastructure of marriages, your community and church. It allows you to be apart of transforming lives for the kingdom of Christ, building relationships that last beyond this life.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Strengthen your marriage and community by serving the Lord faithfully and blessing those who are in need.
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This post is Day 16 of the 30 Dates in November Challenge 2014. Sign-up via email. Receive daily challenges, additional encouragement, and extra goodies.
How do you serve God in your community? In what ways has service been a benefit to your marriage?
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