“Trust in the Lord, and do good.” Psalm 37:3
Time and money are funny things. It seems that the more you have to spare, the harder it seems to give away. Well, that’s been my experience.
When I was single living on a meager teacher’s salary, I gave money away all the time. I remember one time when I overdrew my account because I gave to a family whose house burned down at Christmas.
I chided myself for not being careful or responsible. You can’t give what you don’t have; my heart was obviously bigger than my bank account. I survived. But I learned a lesson on balancing my checkbook.
After our family’s move to North Carolina five years ago, I had all the time in the world. Too much time. I wasn’t working outside of my home, friendless, churchless, bored. But I remember that when opportunities to volunteer at the school arrived, I feared losing my free time. The irony is comical. Or pitiful. But true.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a season of change where we feel a little lost. Relocation, illness, family responsibilities (whether taking care of aging parents or new born babies), divorce, loss of employment, _______________(fill in the blank)…all of these changes can leave us wondering what our purpose is.
Jesus didn’t promise that every season would be fun.
But I learned a long time ago when I was knee deep in dirty diapers and crying children, sleep deprived, and in need of a clean t-shirt that wasn’t stained with spit-up, that when the current purpose is not fulfilling and self-pity is knocking at my door, I need to do something for somebody else outside my little world.
I’m still working on it. Just yesterday I volunteered at a luncheon for the teachers at my son’s high school. It wasn’t earth changing. Nobody got saved. But I got to do something for people. It felt good to work hard putting chairs away and walking up and down stairs fifty times to help carry empty dishes after it was over. It was good to meet people and see teachers who have made a difference in my kids’ lives. It felt good to do good.
Our salvation does not come by our good works. We are only saved by faith. But faith without works is dead. And so am I.
The writer of Psalm 37 doesn’t define “do good”. Our individual “do good” will look differently. Don’t compare. Just do whatever “good” God puts in front of you for each day. Get out of your head. Call someone to bless them. Take food to your local food pantry. Volunteer at your church, local soup kitchen, nursing home, domestic violence center. The possibilities are endless.
Don’t think too hard about it. You might talk yourself out of it. Just do it.
I feel a prayer coming on…
“Dear Lord, please help us get out our own little world and touch others in Your big one. Help us join in Your purposes everyday. I pray for joy in the doing. But don’t let us forget that we have to BE with you first. We have to BE filled with you before we can give anything away. We love you. Show us what to do! Thank you Jesus. Guide us Holy Spirit. Amen.”