Last night as dusk was gathering, I drove into the Walmart parking lot across the street from our local two-year college. My daughter said, “Watch out!”
I looked around and saw nothing out of the ordinary, so I slowly continued on my quest to find a parking spot. I thought maybe my daughter just thought I was going to hit the curb as I turned, so when I heard a sound, I thought maybe my tire had, in fact, brushed up against the curb. But then I heard, “crunch, crunch, crunch”, and my brain was trying to figure out, what in the world??
I pulled into a parking spot and got out. A couple of other customers were standing there talking, so I spoke with them. Apparently, just before I got there, someone had been walking with a six-pack of beer in glass bottles. The bottom had fallen out of the package, and the person just looked at the bottles on the ground and walked away, leaving them there.
My car crushed at least two of them. Hopefully my tires will still have air in them when I need to go somewhere.
Anyway, I took pictures and went in to report the mess to a manager and brought her out to check on it.
At the Walmart entrance was a man resting on the ground with a couple of backpacks. I noticed him each time I entered and exited. As I was in the checkout lane, I felt the Lord wanted me to help the man somehow, so I purchased some beef jerky. As my daughter and I walked outside to go home, I asked the man if he liked this type of beef jerky. He said yes, and accepted them eagerly. Then he said, “God bless you.” I wondered how long he had been there and if anyone else had offered him any act of kindness.
When I got home, this event was on my mind as I tried to decide which Scriptures to use for today’s prayer. Instead of taking a whole passage, I decided to take a few individual verses. I’ll type the verses first and then the prayer using them.
Matthew 26:11 “For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.”
Matthew 25:44,45 “Then they themselves also will answer , ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to You, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'”
Prov. 22:2,9 “The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all. He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.”
Psalm 41:1 “How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble.”
Proverbs 11:25 “The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.”
Dear Lord, You’ve said that we always have the poor with us, but sometimes we don’t see them so obviously. Thank You for this opportunity to see and to serve You.
Lord, I don’t want to be one who sees those who are hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and not do something to help them. Help me to remember that when I am giving to them, I am giving to You. You are here with us through Your Spirit, but Lord Jesus, if I had thought that it was you there, resting on the pavement in front of the Walmart door, I would have done more than just giving You a package of beef jerky. Help me to overcome my fear of strangers, especially when You are obviously telling me to do something for them. Help me to be more generous with those in need, for You are the creator of us all.
And Lord, I want to serve You in this way out of love for You, but I thank You that You even have promised to bless us when we give and are generous! I sure do have my times when I need to be delivered from trouble, too. There have been times where I needed someone to come along and be generous toward me, and I thank You for sending them. And there will surely be more times when I need to be watered. I thank You for Your promise that You will make sure that happens if I have watered others.
Please continue to lead us and guide us in this area. Please give us courage and the heart of love for others that You want us to have. Help us to see others from Your point of view and to care for them like You want us to. And please keep on reminding us that we are to serve those in need as though we were serving You.
In Jesus’ name,
How has the Lord spoken to you about this subject? Have you ever had an experience like the one I had? I’d love to hear about your experiences, as well! Please feel free to leave a note in the comments. 🙂
(All Scriptures above are quoted from the New American Standard Bible)