Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:4 NLT)
In April of 2011, the small town where I attended college was ravaged by a horrific tornado. Many of my university peers decided to settle in the town after graduation, so naturally they were affected by that monumental storm. I remember hearing about the devastation of the tornado the day after it happened and frantically calling around to my friends to see if they were okay. Once I had confirmed that everyone was safe, I wondered why I had no idea that there was an impending storm. Eventually I realized that I couldn’t fathom a storm of that magnitude ripping through the southern region because while that region had tornadic conditions, it was clear and sunny in my state. Feelings of guilt began to seep in as I reflected on my negligence. If I was watching the news or reading the online reports, I would have been aware of what was happening to my friends. While I may not have been able to stop the storm, my prayers could possibly have been instrumental in lessening the severity of the storm. I had to take a moment to thank God that everyone was spared, but also ask for forgiveness that I had been so self-consumed that I had no clue what my brothers and sisters were enduring. Those series of events gave me a fresh perspective on tending to the needs of others.
It’s no challenging feat to skip along in life, enjoying the roses when the storm is not over our home. As long as marriages are intact, children are healthy, finances are abundant and families are cohesive, we assume everything is good because we are good. Our state is wonderful! But what about those times when everything is peachy for us, but our neighbor’s world is turned upside down? We have to be careful to not be so self–absorbed that we miss the opportunity to minister or pray for our sisters during their rough patches in life. In fact, the sunshine in our life can serve as a testament to those around us that better days lie ahead. Remember when the storm was in your home? Remember when you couldn’t see a way out? Remember when you felt like the storm was designed to kill you? Well that’s exactly how she feels right now. Stop being afraid of getting wet and show her that you care by standing in her storm with her!
Job had lost his livestock, children and great health in a matter of days. It’s safe to say that he was in the midst of one of the greatest storms ever! While I don’t know exactly what was going on in the lives of his friends, I am certain it was nothing like what Job was enduring. Compared to his trials, they were in paradise. Yet, their state didn’t hinder them from meeting Job in his storm. Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. (Job 2:11 NKJV)
Of course, we don’t always know what a person is going through so it can be somewhat difficult to support them. To that, I say seek God. I regularly pray for God to burden me with the things that are disturbing His people. If there is something that it not apparent to the naked eye or something that they are ashamed or reluctant to share, I ask that He would move my heart to simply pray for them. When He randomly places a person in your thoughts, say a prayer for them. You never know what storm is raging in their life and how your prayers can help provide some much needed solace.
Please forgive me for the times that I have been so self-absorbed that I neglected to consider those around me who were suffering. I thank You for the calm moments in my life, and I ask that You help me to use my sunshine to minister to those connected to me when they are in stormy seasons. May everything that I go through and come out of be used for Your glory! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today I EMPOWER you to think past yourself and consider the needs of others around you. It is time for us to move past our own pleasures and assist others in their time of pain. Remember that the storm was once over your home too. I EMPOWER you to use that knowledge to encourage those presently being rocked by a storm.
Are you your sisters’ keeper? Make a phone call today or stop by!
Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur and a dedicated servant-leader. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. She is the owner of Pizzazzed Plus, a custom sweets boutique. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.