A Guest Blog By: Christine Laporte
“Do not grow tired of doing good, because at just the right time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. Galatians 6:9
Even when living as incomplete and hurting people we can still be an inspiration and motivator to others who are suffering. When I see a person who is obviously in a great amount of pain, not only am I cheering for them and praying their situation will improve, I’m also looking to see who the Lord has placed in their life to help them.
I admit it’s difficult to watch someone day in and day out abuse their body, mind and spirit by either drinking themselves into oblivion, spending money they don’t have, binge eating or sleeping half the day away. Still, this is the way some of us cope and if we don’t have God believing, praying and persistent people to help us, the road back to restoration is an awful challenge.
Does the Lord want us to be “that person” and risk getting involved in administering aide to the unbeliever or saint gone astray? What if we ourselves are experiencing current trials? Can we really be a benefit to them or will we pull them down by our own current plight?
In 1 Corinthians 1:3-5 we read the following:
“Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ”.
How redeeming is that? Even though we suffer, we can receive God’s comfort and then pour it into someone else’s life. Yes, the Lord makes a deposit of hope into our situation “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God”. It seems by reading this verse that the Lord expects us to help those who are hurting. I don’t see here where we have to be completely healed or out of our own pain. We receive from God and give to others.
If a brother or sister in Christ is combating a life dominating sin or if they’ve fallen back into old patterns of behavior, here too we can be an instrument of restoration in the person’s life.
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted”. Gal. 6:1
According to readers.com, to restore gently means “that the Church is not arrogant or inconsiderate when dealing with a public sin, they seek to restore the person to fellowship without humiliating the person who was caught by sin”.
Yes, there is also a warning here to be careful so we are not pulled into the sin too, and that is another reason for being in close, daily contact with the Lord, listening to the Holy Spirit.
About a month ago my youngest daughter and I visited her sister and her fiance in Northern Virginia. It’s about a hour and a half drive but we really enjoy it. After lunch we visited a restoration store where rooms were filled with new, gently used and antique home goods. Seeing the unique items and pondering they might be used again on our own homes was fun. I believe we shouldn’t just throw out older or used items, but instead donate them, modify them or gently store them for another time.
It kind of reminds me of how we, as people, are not “throw aways”. God can and does restore us, heal us and work through us to accomplish His work here on earth. Even more, we can help others fulfill the purpose the Lord created them for as we participate in their “comeback” story.