“if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday”(Isaiah 58:10 ESV).
How often have we seen people who are hungry–naturally and spiritually? Finding a way to help feed the naturally hungry is fairly simple (sometimes). We point them in the direction of a soup kitchen, buy them a meal, take sandwiches to the areas in which the homeless can be found, and some will even take people home with them to feed them. At the end of the day, we feel we have accomplished something. We have–the rumblings and gnawings in their stomachs have ceased for a moment. But tomorrow, they will be hungry again.
Some of us have put ourselves in the position to comfort those who have been afflicted–by life in illness, abuse, or loneliness. We were there to offer them a shoulder to lean on or cry on when they needed. But when we left, they were left to their own devices.
Now the real question is–how many of us have poured ourselves out to those who are spiritually hungry–feeding them The Word and showering them with love, leading them to a Risen Savior who can quench any thirst and hunger, comfort, heal and counsel like no one else? When people are fed and nourished in The Word, have opened their hearts to Jesus, and accepted the outpouring of love being offered, they will hunger no more and the prophet Isaiah tells us that the light within us will rise and our gloom (feelings of despair will dissipate) shall be as the noon day (as bright as the noon day sun).
If we stop and think about how we feel when we help someone else, we’d have to admit that helping others, certainly makes us feel better about ourselves. At least that is true for many who do out of right motives–a simple desire to help. When we do things to be seen or for a photo-op or for any other ulterior motive, we have not accomplished much and what we do–is tarnished by our motives.
Before we do anything to help someone else, make sure it is being done to the glory of God and not for self-aggrandizement. God knows our hearts and instead of seeing a light rise within us, we may sink into a pit of darkness because of selfish motives that were intended to help no one but us. Despair not! Even when we mess up, God will pull us out of the pit–using someone else with pure motives–and give us another chance to have our lights rise!
Is your light rising or is it sinking into darkness?
Father, in the name of Jesus, help us see beyond our own needs and reach out to others who are in need. Help us to see the need to feed–naturally and spiritually so no one will ever hunger again. Continue to fill us as we pour out of our spirits, all You have poured into us, to all who will accept what we have to offer. Grant us continued mercy and grace as we do all to Your Glory!