Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Hamburgers are a regular item on the Southerland summer menu … for several reasons. Hamburgers are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and scrumptious.
On one particularly hot summer night, I was craving hamburgers. So, I fired up the grill on our deck and began to prepare the hamburger patties.
I didn’t want to be in the scorching heat one minute longer than I had to be, so I quickly seasoned the hamburger patties, slapped them on the grill, and headed back inside.
Our daughter met me at the door with our grandson who was looking for his Mimi. That’s me.
When Justus saw me, he smiled and stretched out his chubby little arms for me to hold him. I grabbed him and promptly forgot about the hamburgers sizzling on the grill – until Danna asked what we were having for dinner.
As visions of charred hamburger patties danced through my head, I made a mad dash to rescue our meal. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that the hamburgers were still edible – barely.
I quickly transferred the hamburgers to a plate, closed the lid on the grill, and turned to head inside. My foot caught on the leg of a patio chair. I stumbled, juggling the plate of meat in my hand.
I was not about to give up those hamburgers without a fight! Instinctively, I reached out for something to break my fall … and found the grill – with three fingers.
I could feel the searing heat followed by the temporary numbness that accompanies second- and third-degree burns. Ice! I needed ice and water!
I raced into the house, dropped the plate of burgers on the dinner table, and said, “Let’s eat!” Leaning over the kitchen sink, I turned the cold water on full blast, hoping it would ease the growing pain. It didn’t.
We finally resorted to soaking the injured fingers in a small bowl of ice water – which really did help – but when large blisters began to appear, Dan and I headed to Urgent Care.
As the doctor applied a burn cream, I asked, “Will it stop the pain?” I didn’t like her response. “It won’t actually stop the pain, but it will help the burns heal. I’ll give you a painkiller for the next couple of days,” she explained as she handed me the prescription. What? It was the same pain medication I had once taken after major surgery.
That seemed like overkill, but as the hours passed, I was very thankful for each little pill. Every part of my body was screaming, “Pay attention to the fingers! We hurt!”
The Body of Christ should function the same way. Instead, we often shoot our wounded and leave them lying in the dirt to find help on their own. God has gifted us in a way that helps us minister to those in need.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
The problem is not always that we are unwilling to help someone in pain. We are simply blind to the fact that they exist. We overlook hurting people because we are in a hurry or because we don’t want to deal with the mess of a broken life.
Jesus Christ willingly gave up Heaven and came to Earth as a man … and went straight for the messiest lives, those in the greatest pain … the losers and the misfits.
Jesus felt every pain we have ever felt or ever will feel. Jesus was beaten, tortured, and then crucified to pay for our sin.
It must break the heart of God when we so easily toss aside what cost Him so very much … the chance to help one of His broken lambs.
Look around you! Someone needs you to see them – to feel their pain and then be willing to do something about it. The gift is within you. God arranges our circumstances and experiences to cross the paths of those in pain. We just need to be looking for them.
Father, forgive me for the times I could have made a difference in the life of someone who was hurting, but didn’t because I was too busy or just didn’t care enough. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you notice those in pain around you? Do you try to help them or try to escape them because you don’t have time?
More from the Girlfriends
A chapter in my book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, has a section on how to use your pain and the gifts God gave you to minister to others. Check it out! It is on a big sale this month!
Need prayer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your prayer request and our prayer team would love to pray with and for you.
© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
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Thank you for this reminder Mary, I needed it! God’s timing is always perfect.
Cathy, thank you for your note. I know what you mean. My timing is not so good but God’s is always perfect. I just need to remember that truth. Blessings!