During the holidays we see family members and friends who are hurting. We try to help the best we can but sometimes it seems they just can’t receive it from us. Maybe they “know” the old us too well and it’s like Jesus when he went to Nazareth where he grew up: “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matt 13:58). They only knew him as the carpenter’s son, as a regular guy, not the spiritually tapped-in empowered guy he was now! God in His foreknowledge already anticipated this scenario and provided a solution. There is always something we can do.
Jesus explains it in Matthew 9:33-10:1. In verse 33 we see Jesus casting out a demon. In verse 35 we’re told he was “healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Verse 36 tells us when he saw the multitudes, his heart went out to them. We all have these feelings of compassion and love toward friends and relatives, especially during the holidays. But we can’t help them all. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few” (v.37).
He told the people to pray that God would send other laborers into His harvest (v.38).
Then Jesus showed them how it would be done in the very next verse: He sent out other laborers besides himself (chpt.10, verse 1). He didn’t say “Schedule more meetings for me.” He didn’t say, “I have to do it all myself.” The Savior of the world, when he was here in the flesh, didn’t rely on himself to deliver and heal everyone. What an amazing concept and a really important one for us to understand.
As wonderful and powerful as Jesus was, when he was looking with love and compassion on the hurting people right there in front of him, he couldn’t help them all. When we see the people we love, and they are hurting, our hearts go out to them too. But we can’t help everyone and there’s no need to feel bad about not being able to help someone close to us. Sometimes I just have to tell myself, “I’m not their savior.” If Jesus couldn’t heal everyone close to him, why do we think we can?
But Jesus showed us a way to help them anyway.
He showed us we are to pray for another Christ-inspired person to step in. What a wonderful and powerful thing to know and what a comfort and assurance. There’s never any guilt when it comes to love. We can always help in some way.
People respond favorably to different people. You don’t respond to everyone in the same way and neither do your loved ones. They’ll connect to someone who says the same thing you say, but when it comes from someone else it sounds so much better. That’s just the way life is; we’re all that way.
We can offer help but if it’s not taken, we can still be very effective by praying for someone else to help them.
And what will that other laborer do? Much! They will have “power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matt 10:1). That’s spectacular!
So don’t be discouraged this holiday season if you feel snubbed or somewhat helpless. Be encouraged; there’s power in prayer for another laborer to come in to help, when you can’t. And if you’re not being anxious about someone you care about, then you free yourself up for God to bless you even more. And God ALWAYS answers this prayer.