I have so many friends who are going through difficult times right now. There are major health problems where pain is a daily companion. There are broken-down vehicles, and no money to pay for repairs.
Some have lost loved ones, their hearts breaking as they look ahead at the empty days ahead of them. Others are going through a huge crisis with family members, with situations that have broken their hearts and wrecked homes and lives. My heart aches for my precious friends and I’d love to fix their circumstances, but I can’t.
Instead of feeling frustrated and helpless, I thought I’d share a few of the “what to do when you don’t know what to do” ideas that God put on my heart:
1) Give your time.
Whether it’s a warm hug, listening, or holding someone’s hand to comfort them, just our presence can make a difference.
That’s a sober responsibility. I was reminded of that this week when a sweet friend shared that a year ago when she asked me to pray about something, I was the only one she asked to pray. That moved me to tears as I thought about that. Thankfully, I had prayed for her, but what if I hadn’t? Let’s pray as if we’re the only ones lifting our friends’ requests to God.
3) Offer hands-on help.
Whether it’s making a cake or casserole, changing the oil in the car for a disabled person, driving a senior citizen to the doctor or taking a turn sitting at the hospital with a sick friend, we can show our love and compassion in even small gestures.
4) Share a miracle story.
Talk about how God’s provided for you or someone in the past, those “tried and proven” moments that remind us that the God who performed miracles in the past is still able to do them today.
5) Spread encouragement.
We can encourage others with phone calls, visits and texts. And we can share precious verses from God’s Word, Scriptures that have touched our hearts, sweet promises that have helped us through our own difficult days.
So what else can we do when we don’t know what to do? Ask God to show us ways that we can become extensions of His loving arms in the lives of those who need us. I know these things will make a difference–I’ve been the beneficiary on so many occasions.
As my pastor, Rev. Ralph Sexton says, “All we have is God and each other.”
How could you share His love and compassion with someone today?