“In every way I’ve shown that it is necessary to help the weak by laboring like this and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, because He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 CSB
My husband and I were on the way home from a camping trip when we came across a small church in the country with all of the members lined up outside to take a group picture. My husband looked at them and said, “God knows everyone of their stories. There is no way I could ever know all of them.” He’s right, God does know all of their stories, He knows all of our stories. Even if we were members of their congregation and knew each of them, we would never know everything about them. We are all weak in God’s eyes, we all need His help, none of us can do life without Him.
Giving our lives to help others can be exhausting at times. The energy to get out of bed some mornings can be the most challenging. We’re like car engines; my husband has taught me some things about them. Engines take the most gasoline when they first start up. When you’re at a stop light, and you begin to ease on the gas to get the car in motion you’re using more fuel than at any other time. Once the car is cruising, it doesn’t require the same amount of fuel. If we’re willing to take the first step, to get the engine running, we won’t need as much energy for the rest of the trip. Taking the first step is always the hardest and takes the most energy. But the investment is always worth it.
Today I was feeling exhausted, I was tired of people and really was quite done. But months ago a friend asked me to attend her baptism. Having me there meant the world to her, and my love for her is so strong, I couldn’t let her down. When we arrived, we couldn’t find a parking spot, my husband dropped me off just as the baptism was starting so I wouldn’t miss it. I sat by myself as I watched my friend begin her new life in Christ. When we met afterwards with another friend, they renewed my strength. They poured their energy and their zest for life, their love for others and for Jesus into me. They renewed my strength with their love, they renewed my spirit with their energy. They gave me the fuel I needed to start my engine back up and start the next leg of my journey. We all need each other. Sometimes we’re the ones expending energy to help the weak, sometimes we’re the weak who needs to be helped. But one thing I know is true, to give of ourselves is better than to receive. Our giving is what spurs us on to what God has for us next.