The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, May 10, 2022 comes to us from Jami Gustafson of Buryatiya, Russia
7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Deuteronomy 15:7-11 NIV
“Tangible Acts of Love”
My friend and I had decided to take regular walks through the Siberian village where we were living to pray for our neighbors and to ask for God’s guidance in how best to show them love. One brisk fall morning, we prayed for opportunities to be God’s hands and feet to our neighbors. The very next day, God began to answer our prayer, and neighbors began to ask us for help. This had never happened before! An elderly neighbor needed gas for his stove. Another neighbor’s well was broken, and she was home with her three young kids. We were easily able to get water for her. Our neighbor was in the hospital and needed diapers for her baby. Another family’s car broke down, so I offered to drive them in my car.
Such situations continue to this day. People are grateful and amazed that we help them so readily, and they are more open to hearing about Jesus when they experience these tangible acts of love. I am thankful for the way God has answered our prayers so that we are able to shine God’s light. Serving others has been a joy rather that a burden because of God’s perfect presence and provision
The phrase, “God’s hands and feet,” has always been one of my favorite ways to understand God’s presence in our world. Indeed, our faith calls us to consider what God would have us to do, and then go and do it. We are the tools that God uses to accomplish God’s will for those who struggle in any way. I invite you to think about what God is calling you to use your hands and feet to accomplish.
Dear Lord, help us to be your hands and feet to the world around us. Amen.
Someone Who needs my help.
Thought for the Day:
If I ask, God will give me opportunities to show love to others.
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”
Exodus 33:14 (NIV)