So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone— especially to those in the family of faith.
Galatians 6:9–10 (NLT)
My oldest daughter heard a news report about refugees and asked me about it. I shared with her what I knew, then we looked up more information. We talked about how hard it must be to leave your home and travel to an unfamiliar place, and I reminded her that God commands us to help others. That’s when my younger daughter—who happened to be in the room and apparently was all ears—chimed in.
“Mommy! We need to help them! What can we do? I want to help!”
Immediately, my eyes filled with tears, and my heart grew about three sizes. I was so proud of my little girl and moved by her generous heart. But it wasn’t long before I also felt myself sighing deeply. How could we help? I didn’t know! What I did know was that figuring out how to answer her was going to take time.
I hugged my daughter and told her how happy I was that she wanted to help. I promised to find out how our family could help “the people who left their countries,” as she called them.
My experience in working for nonprofit organizations and ministries had taught me that not all help is actually helpful. I’d learned that sometimes helping hurts, and I didn’t want to be part of that. I also didn’t want to simply throw money at a problem (though as a former fundraiser, I know how crucial financial contributions are). I wanted to find a tangible way for my family to help someone in need, something we could do that would truly make a difference in the life of another. But it turned out that was easier said than done!
I googled and made phone calls and sent emails and asked friends on Facebook. How can we help? And every day when she got off the school bus, my little girl asked if I’d found an answer yet. I told her I was waiting for someone to email me back and that I would do another internet search. I told her I was trying.
And I was. I wanted to help too! But I also had a full calendar and a long to-do list, and I was starting to feel a little less warm and fuzzy every time my daughter asked me again how we could help. So I began shrugging off her (and my) desire to do good. Coming up with a plan to help got pushed to the edge of my proverbial plate, and for days at a time I completely forgot about it. Then my daughter brought it up again.
How can we help? Did that lady email you back? What can we do?
Instead of rolling my eyes and sighing in frustration (which I may have been tempted to do), I closed my eyes as I took a deep breath in and breathed out God’s name. In that moment I was asking for patience and motivation and guidance. I was asking Him to give me the desire to do good for my daughter and, with her, to do good for others.
Finally, I was spurred back into action. Giving up on the organizations I’d emailed to offer help (who, strangely enough, never did respond), I widened my search and asked another group of friends for ideas. Before I knew it, I had a long list of ways we could help others in our community — plenty of ideas to keep us busy doing good all year long!
Doing good isn’t always easy or convenient. We can’t always figure out a simple answer to the world’s complicated problems. And sometimes feeling too busy or too tired saps our energy for adding one more thing to our list. But God doesn’t ask us to do anything He won’t make possible. So when doing good feels impossible, it’s time to ask God to give us the desire to help, the wisdom to choose how best to help, and the time and energy to make it happen. We ask Him to work in our hearts so we don’t get tired of doing good.
Out of obedience and an overflow of God’s goodness to us, we press on to goodness. He loves us, so we love others. He helps us, so we help others.
Lord, thank You for inviting me into the good works You have prepared for me to do. Please give me the desire to do good and the follow-through to keep at it. Use me to show others how much You love them, and may they see You through me. Amen.
This article was written by Mary Carver, as published in Empowered: More of Him for All of You.
Empowered: More of Him for All of You, by Mary Carver, Grace P. Cho, and Anna E. Rendell is designed to incorporate the five major components of our being — physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. The sixty Scripture passages and devotions invite you to see from different angles how God empowers us, and each day ends with prayer and reflection questions to deepen the learning. Grab a copy now. We pray it blesses you.Leave a Comment