I woke suddenly this morning from a vivid dream. In my dream I was helping a couple in our church. After I awoke I began to get ready for my day. Then I got back to my knees. I felt an unusually heavy drawing to pray for and lift up this couple—as well as all those in my various areas of responsibility and influence. That includes you!
I am sure I am like you in that I so want to help their problems go away. Paul instructed us about caring for each other. Galatians 6:2-3 (NLT) “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody” The Apostle Paul told us that God created us to be a blessing and help to each other. Jesus modeled the selfless life, not the selfish life.
For me, caring for others can be like addiction. I’ve said this before, but I grew up watching my mother (a wonderful and amazing woman who has gone home to be with the Lord) worry about everyone. She felt that worry equaled compassion. Caring for others equals compassion, but worrying doesn’t. Jesus said worrying can’t add a thing to our life. Caring for others— understanding what you can do and what you can’t do—does work. This took me many years to sort out.
I woke up with this heaviness of caring for what felt like was a sea of people this morning. In the old days, it would have affected me in unhealthy ways. Today I knew what to do with this. Whether feeling the burden to help many, just a few, or just one person, there are times when we can do something actively and there are times when we’ve been given an assignment by God’s Spirit to pray. Sunday, I went down to the hospital to pray for someone from our church. Today, I knew I was being pulled to my knees. Before I prayed, I wanted to read God’s Word and see what He would lead me in to pray. And He was ever so faithful.
In Psalm 115 the Lord was reminding me that the world looks to “idols”— systems or things people lean upon in trouble that can’t really help them. In the old days these were literally idols carved or shaped from something. Today they are sophisticated systems that are supposed to solve our problems, but never do.
Psalm 115:4-8 described them like this: “Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They cannot talk, though they have mouths, or see, though they have eyes! They cannot hear with their ears, or smell with their noses, or feel with their hands, or walk with their feet, or utter sounds with their throats! And those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.”
I’m sure none of you are sitting around praying to idols as just described, but are you looking to the Lord for your help? For me, I am not God and can’t solve all the problems that people I love have. But that doesn’t mean I abandon them in thought or caring. No, I do what I can, not what I can’t. And the most powerful thing I can do is lift them before the Lord today! Not only does it honor God, but it brings their needs before the throne of Heaven. I did so and felt the burden I woke up with lifted from me. I left it at God’s throne! I prayed for you today!
Psalm 115:11-13 “All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord! He is your helper; He is your shield. The Lord remembers us, and He will surely bless us. …He will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and small.”
In His love,
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.