“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” (Hebrews 3:13 NIV).
Friend to Friend
My husband, Steve, was pumping gas. It seemed like he was always pumping gas. Living out in the country and driving into town each day required gas, and a lot of it. As he stood holding the nozzle and watching the numbers rapidly roll by higher and higher, he noticed an old 1992 grey Honda Civic pull up to the pump behind him. The car had seen better days: rusted roof, missing hubcaps, faded paint, dented bumper.
Out of the corner of his eye, he observed a young woman who appeared to be in her late 20’s get out of the car. She was dressed in medical scrubs and looked about as tired as her Civic. Methodically, she swiped her card, placed the nozzle in the tank, and squeezed the handle. Within one minute of beginning, she stopped squeezing. She then placed the nozzle back in the pump and began screwing the cap back on her tank.
That couldn’t have been more than a couple of gallons, Steve thought.
“Is that all the gas you’re getting?” Steve asked.
“Yeah, well, you know. Trying to space it out,” she replied.
Steve placed his nozzle back on in its holder, walked over to her pump, and swiped his card. “Let’s fill it up today.”
“No, no. You can’t do that,” she protested.
“I already did,” he smiled. “It’s already done. See. The card’s approved. Fill it up.”
“Tears welled up in her eyes. “Thank you,” she said.
“Now you have a good day,” he replied. “God bless.” And off he drove.
I just love that man.
As I thought about Steve’s act of kindness, I was challenged to pay closer attention to those around me throughout my busy days. I was stirred to look for someone who needed a kind word, a bill paid, a burden carried.
Throughout Jesus’ thirty-three years he walked this earth, he noticed people who crossed his path during his busy day. He noticed a small man in a tree straining to catch a glimpse as he passed by (Luke 19:1-8). He noticed a woman with a bent-over back sitting in the women’s section of the synagogue straining to hear (Luke 13). He noticed a 38-year-old lame man sitting by a pool (John 5). He noticed a grieving mother mourning the loss of her only son (Luke 7). He noticed the hunger of the crowd after a long day of teaching on the hillside (Mark 6). He noticed…and he did something about it.
It is very easy to go about our busy days with blinders on – focusing on our own little worlds and ignoring the ministry opportunities surrounding us. But Jesus showed us how to pay attention, lighten a load, bestow a blessing, give a gift, help the hurting, and bind-up the broken. Listen, Jesus was busy! He had a lot to accomplish in 3.5 years of his earthly ministry. But he was never too busy to pay attention to the needs of the people around him.
Steve was my hero that day. And I suspect, for one young lady in a beat-up, old gray Honda Civic, he was her hero as well.
Dear LORD, open my eyes today. Forgive me for being so selfish that I forget to notice the needs all around me. Show me someone that I can help today. Show me how I can be Your hands and feet today. I’m listening. I’m watching. I’m paying attention.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
I bet you can guess what I’m going to say now. Apply today’s principle and reach out to help someone in need. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be as simple as opening the door for a mother with a stroller. And when you do, I want to hear about it! You won’t be bragging. Don’t worry about that. You’ll simply be encouraging each one who reads your post to be blessed as I’m sure you will be blessed when you reach beyond your own needs to touch someone else.
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