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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting to Give

The weather outside has taken a definite turn for the worse. We hit a high yesterday of about 5 below zero. The temperature on the inside, however, has stayed nice and warm as we enter week two of class. This week, I'm in Pastoral Care, looking at what it means to care for others in a ministry context.

Yesterday, our professor offered some great insight on how we can approach caring for other people. One verse of Scripture that we use often for friends or loved ones in a tough spot is I Peter 5:7, "Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." This is a classic verse used to remind people that no matter what they face, God can be trusted and His love can sustain us through the most difficult of times.

We often forget, however, the importance of this verse for US as we seek to give care to others. We can easily feel intimidated or inadequate to help someone going through a difficult time. We wonder what we have to offer and if our words or presence will help the situation at all. At times like this, we need to be willing to quote the same Scripture to ourselves. We need to get the message of Scripture first in order that we can give the same encouragement to others. God does care for us, and as we feel anxious or uncertain in helping others, we too need to "cast our care" on God and allow Him to bring peace and joy into our hearts first. We can then walk into the dark situation that another person is facing, confident of the grace and presence of God that goes with us and before us. We get the message of His love and peace for ourselves, and then we are equipped to give it away.

As you journey today, may God give you eyes to see fellow travelers in need of His love. And may you be aware that the vessel of that love is YOU.


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