I got the round robin call. Everyone who was able to come needed to meet at the food pantry location at noon. A large load of sweet potatoes had arrived and needed to be packaged. When I pulled in the parking lot, there was the same familiar guy holding a sign saying FREE FOOD. Going inside, I noticed there were already several people bagging sweet potatoes as fast as they could from large cardboard containers. I started to work right away.
As I filled one bag after another, I began to pray for those who would be receiving the food. I prayed the recipients would be nourished and satisfied. I also prayed they would be spiritually nurtured as well. I asked the Holy Spirit to go with the sweet potatoes and encourage the receivers that God loved them in these trouble times. If they didn’t know God, I prayed they would come to know the saving power of Christ. God can do the impossible. As I finished my prayer, I felt the sweet potatoes would not only be delicious when cooked but they would also bring a spiritual blessing tailored just for that individual family.
After a couple of hours, My hands were black and my back was aching, but I knew I had made a difference in the lives of those who stopped by our doorway.
Why do I like to volunteer my time in this way?
It gives me the chance to prayer and give back to those around me. I have received much from God and those He has placed in my life. Yes, I have had my hard years too but God had always brought me through. Now I want to share with others. I may not be able to “save the world” but I can strengthen the ones who come by for the packaged food.
It’s good for me to think of someone else besides my self. It helps to relieve built up stress and thus keeps me healthier.
Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” (NIV)
John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (NIV)
If I had no other reason than Jesus’s command and encouragement, then that is enough to get involved. The bonus is that when I help meet the needs of the less fortunate then God will satisfy my needs as well.
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. (NIV)
What are you doing in your community to make a difference? What talents can you share with others who need them? God has a tailored place for you to help. Ask Him and He will show you the way.