LOVE IN ACTION
Physical illnesses and stressful events are endemic in our society. They can be likened to the thorns that cause both pain and damage. It doesn’t take much for them to impact a person’s life in ways that they did not expect. I believe that we can become more resilient as followers of Jesus by applying an appropriate solution to a known problem. I believe that an appropriate and important part of the solution is for us to show love the way that Jesus demonstrated love during His ministry on earth.
On a recent trip to Bathurst in NSW I struck up a conversation with a young man who was into mountain bikes and riding in the Bathurst area. This young man was a keen rider and was able to provide me with some warnings. Apparently, the Bathurst region has a problem with thorns. These are prolific and large enough to easily puncture mountain bike tyres. Any deviation from the track, I was warned, would most likely end with a flat tyre.
Soon after this conversation I went for a ride and decided to ride off the track to get to the start of another track. The words of the young man I had conversed with turned out to be accurate. The next day I had to go in search of a new inner tube. What I found available was very interesting, given the known thorn problem in the area. I was able to purchase a ‘thorn resistant’ inner tube. The tube contained the same self-sealing solution that riders use on tubeless mountain bike tyres. This allows the tube to self-seal for holes up to 3mm in diameter.
In this example, equipment manufacturers responded by suppling a product that provided a solution to a known problem. One that affects many people. An appropriate solution was applied for a particular circumstance. Just as thorns will destroy the integrity of a bike’s inner tube, the integrity of our health and relationships can also be damaged by influences that are endemic to our environment.
Recently, I was staying at Bathurst with my immunosuppressed daughter. While I was there, our plans changed. She contacted Covid-19 and I became a close contact. During her isolation period, God was merciful. I remained Covid negative for the entire isolation period. My presence allowed her to recover in her home rather be admitted to hospital. I had been granted the opportunity to be her on-site provider of care, including administration of anti-viral medication, monitoring her symptoms and providing encouragement. I believe that God showed His love to both of us by permitting me to be in a position to love and care for my sick daughter, who has since made a full recovery.
Love Defined by Action
Writing to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul explains what love involves as well as what it should not be.
Some of the points Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 13:2-3,7-8 include:-
- If I have not love, I am nothing.
- If I have not love, I gain nothing.
- Love bears all things.
- Love endures all things.
- Love never ends.
When we look at these points in the context of God’s love for us, we should be motivated to develop strategies to show love to others that are suited to the nature of the ‘thorns’ that we are aware may affect the people we know.
Is there something small we can do?
So, how can be show love to those in need? Sometimes there are/can be situations where we feel lost or overwhelmed to the point where we don’t know how to respond. In many situations we are unable to fix the problem a person is experiencing. That is okay. What we can do is to show love through small gestures. We can be present. We can allow the person we are attending to be heard without interruption and without comparing our hurts with theirs. We can look for and help to meet needs. We can drop off a meal. We can offer to accompany them to an appointment. We can mow the lawn or assist with housework. We don’t have to have all the answers to the “thorn” that is affecting this person’s life, however, we can show God’s love so that His light can shine into what may be a dark place. When God’s light shines on us, some of it will reflect outwards so that others can see Him in us.
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Marks of the True Christian
Paul’s letter to the church in Rome gives us further insight into the role of love as we minister to each other.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.
If we are aware of the ‘thorns’ that exist in the lives of those we know, it might be possible to anticipate what may come. If we anticipate, we may be able to prepare and be ready, so that we can be a loving part of the healing process for a hurting person who is loved by God.
Your Executive pastor,
Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.
5 Things We Need To Do To Break Our Church’s 200 Barrier, Premium Audio
Apologetics Part 1 – Introduction To Apologetics, Premium Audio
Apologetics Part 2 – The Apologetic Arguments For God, Premium Audio
Apologetics Part 3 – The Apologetic Arguments For The Bible, Premium Audio