I need to help myself before I can help others. Have you said that before?
Yes, it’s true we need to put our oxygen mask on before we help others. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself. In fact, it’s scriptural, as we’ve written in one of our previous blogs. But, what we are talking about today, is realizing that all that happens to you is not always about you!
Think about it. When we go through tough times, we immediately become isolated. And some of us spiritualize it with saying; I need to spend some time alone just me and God. While your time with God should be the first thing you should do, it’s not the only thing you should do.
In the midst of our life being turned upside down, we did what most people do and read the book of Job. We wanted to see how and when God turned his situation around. We found our answer in…
Job 42:10 (AMPC) “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
Captivity means confinement; so we could say that, God turned the confinement of Job around when he prayed for His friends. If you are feeling confined to your job, your relationships, or your house because you don’t have a car, consider taking your eyes off your problem and start looking for ways to sow into others.
This sowing can be done in: prayer, serving, volunteering, or looking for ways to be a blessing to someone who has it worse than you. Believe us, there is someone who has it worse than you.
When we are so consumed with what we’re going through, we miss the opportunity to bless people around us. For us personally, when we read this scripture in Job, we thought about how every prayer and bible reading time was about us; our situation and how we were going to get out of it. Not once, did we seek God for the purpose or what He wanted from us during that time, who He wanted us to bless or how we can serve.
It was during that season we began to serve faithfully in our church and identified our spiritual gifts. It was during that time of hardship that Timberley learned to coupon, not only to save our household money, but we were able to purchase excess to help others. Taking it a step further, it is now the number-one resource that runs our church Pantry today.
We have mentioned in previous blogs that we are bigger givers now than we were years ago, that’s because we looked for opportunities to bless others, and in return we saw God supernaturally supply for us.
One time, in particular, there was a family in our church who lost their mother in law. The family was taking donations at a local bank to help with funeral costs. And church members signed up to bring food for the memorial service. We remember so vividly only having about $50 at the time. We used about $15 of it to make a vegetable and dip platter, and gave a $25 donation. It left us about $10 to put in our gas tank just to get to the service and back.
Honestly, there was a time where we would have said our family needs that last $50. However, this was shortly after we read the passage in Job. We both believed this was the right thing for us to do. We had become accustomed to seeking God for our daily bills, being only concern with today and dealing with next week, next week.
Anyway, the service was on Saturday, and it was that Friday that we made the platter and was dropping our daughter off at our sister’s house. As she was staying over to be watched while we attended the service. We were planning on curb siding her. However, our brother in law said we needed to come in, and speak with our sister.
When we walked in, they handed us a card. Inside this card there was a $250 Prepaid Visa Card, with words of encouragement; reminding us that adversity builds character and as children of God the blessings will manifest.
Our family had no idea what we had just done, but what that showed us was that when we take our eyes off ourselves and pursue blessing others, God will provide for us! Like Job, God began to turn our captivity around when we took our eyes off our situation and began sowing into the Kingdom of God and others!
In 2 Corinthians 9 we’re told that God will provide seed to the sower. However, in order for God to provide the seed to a sower, we have to prove ourselves to be a sower. Your situation may weigh heavy on your heart; we know first-hand how that feels-we have been there. But, as bad as it is, there is always someone who has it worse than you.
God wants to bless us, so we can be a blessing. So it all comes down to this, no matter what you’re going through, look to be a blessing to others and watch how God blesses you!
~ André and Timberley Gray