Extend a Hand

We already got some snow here in GTA the last few days! I was hoping that it will not come but of course, this will not be Canada if we don’t have winter like this. During the snowfall this week, I needed to go to work and boy, it was messy! Cars were sliding and people were slipping down on the sidewalk. One had to be really careful driving and walking to avoid sliding down. However, experience tells us that no matter how careful we are, ice and snow can really get the best of us once in a while. I realized it’s the same way in our spiritual walk.

Even the best of us is not exempted from slipping once in a while in our walk with the Lord. People and circumstances around us and, most often than not, our weaknesses can cause us to slip at times. However, it’s a comfort to know that His grace is sufficient for our every weakness and struggle! Yes, the Lord is strong enough to uphold us with His righteous right hand. But the Lord will not literally reach out His own hands to help us out. I believe that He uses each of His children to strengthen another in times of slip-up in life. Paul, in Galatians 6:1-3, admonished the Galatians to support one another in their walk with the Lord. I believe that this is the same admonition that the Lord is extending to today’s believers. If one needs restoration in times of weaknesses or just a gentle nudge to lead them to the right direction, as a community of believers, we ought to consider ourselves as the Lord’s hands and feet and reach out to those who are struggling or going astray. With all the gentleness of spirit, we ought to re-establish them, not out of superiority, but out of genuine love and concern for our brethren in Christ.

The Lord is also teaching us to “carry each other’s burdens and moral faults for in doing so we are fulfilling the law of Christ”. Love is a very strong force that binds us together. Since “God is Love” (1 John 4:8), every time we extend our hands to another person out of love, in essence, we are also extending God to them. Going back to our snow illustration, have you noticed that we don’t normally look away when someone we’re walking with loses their balance? Instead, our first reaction is to extend our hands and try to catch that person to prevent her from falling completely. It doesn’t matter whether they are a friend or a stranger. The Lord has instilled that loving and kind spirit in our hearts. On the other hand, pride can be a dangerous thing! It is pride that could cause us to look away and ignore somebody’s need because we don’t want to go down to their level. It is the same spirit that could make us feel superior because we are not in that same shameful situation. Instead of keeping pride in our hearts, we should always remember that it is only by the grace of God why we’re not in that situation and we should extend that same grace to our brothers and sisters who really need it!

When we look at ourselves, our accomplishments and even our spiritual growth, and compare it to others who have fallen or maybe lagging behind in their spiritual walk, we have already allowed a foothold to Satan in our lives! You see, Satan is thrilled when we compare ourselves to others and we find ourselves better or in the position to pinpoint what’s wrong with them.  Our attitude should be that of humility and instead of comparing ourselves to others we should compare it to what Christ has done and to Who He is! Only then would we realize that we’re actually nothing compared to Him and our works and accomplishments are worthless compared to what He has done. So as followers of Christ, let us be grateful for every opportunity to be the Lord’s channel of blessings and mercy. Reach out, love like no other, be considerate and in humility always consider others better than ourselves!

Marilen