And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. Acts 28:2 NKJV
When Paul and his fellow shipmates were shipwrecked and they ended up on an island, those living on the island made them feel welcomed. Not only did they share food and drink with them, but they saw to their comfort in the cold rain and made them a fire to keep them warm.
How often have people landed in our lives–and needed to feel welcome? Think about it! Some people come into our lives for a season–a purpose–and whether we know or not–if the purpose is part of God’s plan, it will be fulfilled.
On two different occasions, I’ve had young women to land in my life–both of them were 17 years-old. The first one was homeless and she was exchanging her body for a bed to sleep in. When I realized what she was doing and watched her going in and out of a known drug house, Holy Spirit spoke to me and I offered a place to live until she finished school. She had nothing, so we went shopping and bought her clothes and made her feel as welcome as we could. She attended church with us, ate with us as a family, but there was a hygiene issue that literally offended everyone–even the dog. She would not bathe and no matter what I said, she would not conform. Eventually, I had to ask her to leave.
The second young lady was in her last year of high school and her mother was moving out of the state. Knowing how that felt to be moved in my last year of school–when asked to do so–I readily agreed to allow her to stay with me so she could finish school. Once again, this young woman had never owned pajamas, didn’t know how to make up a bed and thought that eating cereal out of a mixing bowl was appropriate. At this point in my life, I was married and my husband and I soon agreed that she could no longer stay with us. She had turned 18 and thought that meant she could do whatever she wanted to do–and not follow our rules. After the fourth offense, she was asked to leave.
What was the purpose of them living with me? I don’t know about them, but I learned a great deal about myself and exercising wisdom in trying to help others. It’s not wrong to try to help, but we must realize sometimes, our compassionate hearts are not appreciated by everyone.
So, during this seventh day of kindness, realize that not everyone will appreciate your effort, but God is watching and He knows. Who can you make feel welcomed into your life? Do we make guests in our churches and homes feel welcomed? Make sure that Holy Spirit is leading or that could lead to other problems. Remember this–if others don’t respond to us the way we expect them to respond, we simply keep doing us–knowing that God loves us and He will reward us for obeying.