So much has been going with me and I barely have time ‘to myself’. I have recently introduced solid (weaning) to my gorgeous daughter and therefore been spending an extra hour in the kitchen; also she interacts more these days and I have had to combine the role of a mother/play mate; my editor has reviewed a book I am working on and she has said I have done a great job but it could be greater; I have enrolled myself in a 5k walk/run race and I have been training moderately for this but being a 6 months postpartum, moderately feels difficult; I am on an online self-study course; I am in the middle of managing few emotional issues among my folks. These sound overwhelming. While these are going on, I have had to engage in the ‘ministry of encouragement’ with some of my brethren in the Lord. (Heb 3:13, 1 Thess 5:11).
But tonight I was privileged with a wee bit of time ‘for me’ and I said to the Lord, I am the one needing encouragement, my plates are full! Immediately, I was directed to the scene just before Jesus fed the 5000 (Matthew 14). John the Baptist, Jesus’s cousin, had just been beheaded. Herod, according to Matthew Henry’s commentary, believed Jesus was John risen from the dead and therefore he hated Him. Jesus resorted to going to a desert, whether He went to mourn or just to escape Herod was not specifically recorded. Whatever the reason, he would have been justified. He needed some time ‘to himself’.
Unfortunately, it was not going to happen. People sought for him. You would think they sought to encourage or to help Him plan a route of escape. Oh no, they needed encouragement (healing, faith uplifting, joy, food, water, life etc). Here, Jesus had a choice to say,”please give me some time “to me”, Herod beheaded my cousin some hours ago and he is looking for me too. I need some time to think through.” Rather, immediately He spotted these guys, he was moved with compassion and started His good works.
So I asked myself, what reason have I got not to fulfil Heb 3:13 and 1 Thess 5:11? And I ask you dear reader, what reason do you claim for neglecting to offer a word or prayer, an encouragement, a smile to, seven seconds of laughter with individuals you know are in the need of these?
‘…. whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me…..’