As the holidays approach we will be seeing family members and friends who are hurting. We try to help the best we can but sometimes it seems people just can’t receive it from us. Maybe they think 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! Same with us. God in His foreknowledge already anticipated this scenario and provided a solution. There is always something we can do.
Jesus explains it in Matthew 9:33-10:5. 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.
Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (v.37-38).
Then Jesus showed them how to do it. “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. These twelve Jesus sent forth” (Matt 10:1 and 5).
He didn’t say “Schedule more meetings for me.” He didn’t say, “I have to do it 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. What a great comfort for us to know that.
As wonderful and powerful as He was, when Jesus 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. If Jesus couldn’t heal everyone close to him, why do we think we have to?
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 sense of assurance it gives us. There’s never any guilt when it comes to love. We can always help in some way.
We don’t respond to everyone in the same way and neither do our loved ones. Sometimes they’ll listen to someone who says the same thing we say, but when it comes from someone else it just works. But to get mad or disappointed is not the right way for us to react.
We can pray and expect the Lord to send someone who our friends and loved ones will listen to. We can also pray for angels to intervene in the situation or even the Lord himself. And we can also pray Second Timothy 2:24 that says pray for someone to “awake themselves out of the snare of the devil.”
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 we can’t. If we refuse to be anxious about those we care about, but pray and trust the Lord more, we free ourselves up to serve Him better.
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