The Poor You Will Always Have With You

Do you have any projects that never seem to end? They just seem to go on and on. Sometimes we get tired, don’t we? When that happens we are faced with a choice: 1) quit and leave the job undone OR 2) rest so that we can jump back in with both feet. When it comes to caring for the hurting, which shall we do?

Jesus said, “”For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.” (Matthew 26:11)

Caring for the hurting and struggling is another one of those never ending tasks, isn’t it? Jesus said that we would always have the poor. His time on earth with the disciples was limited. Their time with the poor (and ours) is not. Yet, there is sometimes a struggle with ministry fatigue in the area of working with the hurting, isn’t there?

Think of this word for a minute: opportunity. That’s not always how we see helping others, is it? When it comes to helping others, we struggle with the never ending nature of it, don’t we? Yet, it is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to love. It is an opportunity to reach out to our fellow man. It is an opportunity to share the gospel.

In medical circles care givers sometimes struggle with care giving fatigue. When that happens, they are encouraged to take a break. They take the break so that they can come back to ministry with renewed energy and perspective. They care, but they just get worn out. However, they don’t take a break so they can quit. Their respite is to renew and refocus their desire to care.

Is this what happens to us when we think about helping others? Does the never-ending nature of the call to minister to the hurting get to us? Are we overwhelmed by the constancy of need? I am challenged by the words of Job as he questioned why he was suffering. He said,

“If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, Or have eaten my morsel alone, And the orphan has not shared it (But from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, And from infancy I guided her), If I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, Or that the needy had no covering, If his loins have not thanked me, And if he has not been warmed with the fleece of my sheep, If I have lifted up my hand against the orphan, Because I saw I had support in the gate, Let my shoulder fall from the socket, And my arm be broken off at the elbow.” (Job 31:16-22)

Yes, the need is constant; but our love can be even more constant. Job had lost his fortune, lost his children, and lost his health. And yet, he was still thinking about others who were struggling! I want that kind of heart. I want a heart that sees the needs of others and finds ways to meet them. No, I can’t solve every problem. I am not asked to solve every problem. However, I can meet the needs of some. Let me start there and see where God leads next. May all His people see the opportunity that is open to us when we minister to others.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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