Are you thinking today, why do I feel so alone and friendless? Where are the people I counted as friends? Doesn’t the Bible say “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Gal 6:9 ESV. Doesn’t that imply somehow, that as I sow into the lives of other people there will be a time of harvest? A time when I receive from others? Why isn’t that happening? Why do I feel like piranha meat?
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim…”
Three years of giving. Sowing seed, setting captives free, turning mourning into dancing, proclaiming hope to those who were rejected by the religious leaders and thought there was no salvation for them. The blind saw, the deaf heard, the dumb sang, the lame leapt for joy, the lepers were made human again, and dead were raised. Countless lives redeemed, made whole.
One would think there would be crowds of people queuing up to pay their last respects, jostling and vying with each other to have the privilege of ministering to Jesus in His death. One would expect at least His closest friends who had shared such amazing adventures with Him to be there for Him as He was lowered from the cross.
Two relative strangers, hidden followers, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were moved by compassion to seek a humane burial for a man they admired and followed from afar.
Crowds at the funeral would have been nice. A great funeral speech and memorial service conducted by His disciples would have been appropriate. But that is purely optional. A nice touch, but purely optional.
What was needed was two able bodied men with the know-how and the moolah to conduct the funeral. And that was provided. Nothing more, nothing less.
Some years ago, I had a strange allergic condition, and it took several months for the doctors to finally pinpoint it as an allergy, and several more months before the condition was brought under control. In that time I looked for my close friends and sisters in Christ to come alongside me with encouragement and prayer support. I was rather disappointed, and for a time even bitter that people I counted on were not there for me.
In that time, God spoke to my heart and said,
“Why are you looking in the wrong direction?
Am I not your Father who knows every need that you have before you are even aware of it?
Am I not the One who has undertaken to fulfill all of your needs and carry you to your last breath on earth? Am I not the One who is Broken Bread who satisfies the deepest needs of your heart?
When you cannot pray, am I not the One who carries and interprets the groaning of your heart into the Father’s heart?
Why then are you downcast? Do you think I condemn you now because your thoughts are focused on the pain, and it is hard for you to concentrate on stringing a sentence together?
Here is my hand of friendship and fellowship. When you cannot hold on, I will hold you and lift you out the waters. I said the waters will not flow over your head, and they will not. My grace is sufficient.
Learn that I myself am the supply and filling of your needs.”
I repented of my attitude of legalism – ‘I gave you, now I am waiting for you to give back to me.’ God then showed me that He is and was and always is the Help of the helpless, the Only One who satisfies the deepest longings of my heart.
When that truth was settled in my heart, in amazing and wonderful ways He raised up two women to stand with me in prayer and send me encouraging messages. Total strangers, but sisters in Christ.
Did I need a crowd? No! Two were more than enough. His grace was and is sufficient for me.
> Again and again that has been my experience. Help does not come from the direction in which I am looking. But God NEVER leaves me without help.
> “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – is not to be interpreted as ‘I help you, at the right time you will help me.’ That is legalism. And that was the wrong interpretation I had to give up.
> God is the Lord of the harvest. It is my duty to sow. It is His part to bring forth the harvest. What He chooses to grow from my sowing is entirely up to Him.
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Psa 124:8 ESV
He who supplies seed to the sower
and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed for sowing
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
2Cor 9:10 ESV