My thoughts (Genese Parker):
“Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive; they are called happy in the land. You do not give them up to the will of their enemies. The Lord sustains them on their sickbed; in their illness you heal all their infirmities” (Psalm 41: 1-3).
There is something to be said about caring for the needs of others. I believe that when we take the time to help others, life is released into the universe. This is especially important since so many things in this world can make us feel bogged down, confused and depressed. In Psalm 41, David talks about how there are many people around him, who are not supportive, but would rather see his destruction. If we were to put this into today’s terms, “haters gonna hate” but we can’t let that distract us from dealing with the most important issues in this world. One of the most important issues according to scripture is caring for the poor. As followers of Christ, we are called to stand up for those people in our society who are overlooked, silenced and marginalized.
I will admit, there are times when I am tempted to “navel gaze”, or over analyze all of the issues in my life that I feel are stopping me from having the life that I really want. But the truth is, there are many people in this world who are dealing with issues that are much more profound and more difficult to overcome than any problem I have ever faced. Ironically, if each of us looked to support those in our society who are in need, all of us would have someone in this world looking out for us, because we all find ourselves in need at some point. Perhaps this is why God rewards those who care for the poor, because those are the people who understand that when one of us suffers, we all suffer.
Thought for the day: Are there times when you are tempted to dwell on the issues that you are facing instead of looking to care for and support the people around you? How might God be calling you to look outside of your own situation and help those around you who are in great need?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.