Jill Jarrell Newsome
Pulling People Out Of The Pit
This week, like every week, my mom and I visited a relative who is no longer able to live alone and has been taken to an assisted living facility. I cannot imagine how it would feel to leave all of our things, our home, our license and our independence. I do not know many people who could just accept that with a smile. This person has been in the pit. Every time I go visit I am saddened by the lack of visitors, not just for him but for so many. 1 Timothy 5: 8, "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
In our sermon series our pastor talked about Joseph being thrown into the pit by his brothers. Scripture tells us that they sat down to a meal. Genesis 37: 24-25, "...and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it. As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead." The brothers went on with their day. While their brother was suffering in the pit - literally - they sat down to eat a meal. Our pastor challenged us to not sit at the table but be part of the plan of helping someone out of the pit.
I was really challenged. I started thinking about this Thanksgiving. How could I sit at the table with all of the relatives, except this one, and eat a meal? Not being sure if it is a good idea to bring him home for the day, we decided to spend Thanksgiving with him. Our plan is to go to him and eat the meal served there. This way we will be together. At least for those few hours he will feel loved and forget about the pit. And I have complete faith that God will use us at that facility that day to help bring other’s out of the pit and we will be blessed beyond measure.
Can you imagine being in a deep, dark hole and no one reaching for you? Thankfully, we know that God is reaching for us but He expects us to help each other. Galatians 6: 2,
"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." We must open our eyes to those around who are in the pit and love them. There are so many people in this world hurting and we are to be their brother's keeper.
Genesis 4: 9, "The the Lord said to Cain, 'where is your brother Abel?' 'I don't know', he replied. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'" Cain's arrogant response to God's question shows he was not accepting responsibility. All God was asking of Cain was to care for one another.
God's standards have not changed. He still expects us to care for one another. Matthew 22: 34-39, "Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
Hebrews 10: 24-25, " And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. A visit, a phone call, a card, are all ways to reach out to others. So many people are in the pit whether they have lost a loved one, lost a job, been diagnosed with an illness, battle depression, are drowning in debt, a failed marriage, a broken relationship and the list goes on.
Sometimes it takes your physical presence to make someone happy. Taking your time to spend with someone is a reminder that you love them. This helps them know they are not forgotten. John 13: 34, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." You will be blessed when you are doing what is pleasing to the Lord. And it can lift someone's burden - it can help pull them out of the pit.
When someone, whether a relative or not, is in need and placed in your life you have a decision to make. God knows what this person needs and He knows He has given you the resources to meet those needs. This was not by accident. God put you where you are for a reason. Recognizing a need in someone's life may be a great invitation from God! Don't miss out on a blessing!
Let's ask God to open our eyes that we may see the people around us who have been placed in our path for a purpose. And help us to be our brother's keeper.