When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
- Matthew 28:38-40
Many people in the world are thankful that Jesus Christ came in the flesh.
Those on their sickbeds have called out to Jesus, and He came. Many on their deathbeds have asked for forgiveness and received it. Many of those who had no clothing or very little, or no place to sleep, or were lonely in a new community, have called upon the Lord, and He came to them in the manner which would answer their prayer and need.
When we are caught in any of the above situations, we are brought to our knees. They are all humbling experiences. We are often broken in these circumstances and have nowhere to go but Jesus. Humility brings down the walls of pride and lets the Lord into hearts.
When people help us in the name of the Lord, they get blessed, as do we when we do the same.
Sometimes, helping people is 'out of season' for us, it is inconvenient. We think, maybe tomorrow when I am refreshed.
After reading the above scripture, we find it is not out of season for them. We are the taxi which comes to the stranded in the night. There is nothing more the stranded want than a ride home at that time. Their greatest need is to step out of the rain and into a cab.
Each need above is answered specifically on purpose, to show us what to do in those times.
We don't have to do much to make a person's day, just answer that immediate need, as it is the biggest thing on their mind. We don't have to over-think the situation or deeply spiritualise it, just build relationships by answering an immediate problem.
Jesus was crushed and bruised for our iniquities, all happening in times of inconvenience. Surely we can avail ourselves for the sick and needy in their times of difficulty?
Psalm 34:18 state, "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
Contrite means crushed, bruised or shattered. The needy in their time of need are often crushed, broken or even shattered in their spirit. They have nothing left, and that is why they are crying out to others.
The Lord has given us a contrite heart. We, therefore, can bring ourselves down their level at that time so we can feel the need as deeply as they do. We have all had our days of need and are no better than anyone else. The Lord wants empathy, not sympathy; he wants understanding out of a pure heart, not donations from a lofty position; he wants love and compassion, as He has created our hearts for that very thing.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, you have rescued me in my times of trial. You have sent friends and neighbours to me in my times of need. Please help me to be available with a pure and understanding heart when others are in need.