RESCUE THE PERISHING
When the death of a loved one occurs, we are likely to find ourselves thinking about them, about the times we shared together, whether or not we did enough for them, did we tell them we loved them, did we show them that we cared for them, did we visit them often enough, did we give to them enough, are there things perhaps that we would do differently if given another chance? These are very normal thoughts and are expected regardless of the age of the loved and cherished departed one. For some these are mere routine thoughts, yet for others they are filled with deep regret knowing that they did not do enough for them in their life time.
We all have friends and family who at some point in time have had challenges.What did we do when they cried out for help? Was that when we became too busy to take their calls? Was that when we felt they had become a nuisance or an unnecessary burden? Did we maybe block them on Social media or even go as far as shunning them in a public place? Maybe that is not the case with some of us but how often do we remember the needy, that sick man in your community, that second cousin who is struggling with all kinds of debts, your driver’s child who you know has started running with the wrong crowd, the church worker who recently lost a job, or a relative who lost a spouse? We are surrounded by these people. If we look well enough we will see them all over the place.
If we make ourselves available to these ones when they reach out to us or even if they do not and we go out of our way to do something for them or remember them in the place of prayer, this is what the Lord says;
“Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The lord rescues them when they are in trouble. The lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. The lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.” Psalms 41:1-3 NLT
When next you have the opportunity to rise up to the challenge of helping someone, please do not hesitate but do it with zeal because this pleases God. Sometimes even when it appears that someone is deliberately doing something wrong and self destructive, having an extramarital relationship, abusing substance, into all kinds of harmful addictions, let us ask for the grace to see beyond whatever it is they are doing and rather see them as lost sheep who need to be brought back into the fold.
“Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgement. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Jude 1: 23 NLT
So hate the sin and not the sinner!! I recently heard the term “radical hospitality.” To be radical is to be out of the ordinary or to be revolutionary even; while to be hospitable is to be friendly, warm, kind hearted and the like. And so I wish to encourage us to be more kind hearted, more open handed, more friendly and even more generous in extraordinary and revolutionary ways; to the lost, the down trodden, the self destructive one, the needy, the fatherless and the widow. Fanny Crosby the hymn writer in her hymn, “Rescue the perishing” says it very clearly.
“Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save”. Frances J. Crosby (1869)
Quite honestly the goings on around us are beyond alarming. People are wasting away by the second. Some are lost and do not know where to turn. Let us help them find their way home. Let us reach out from our “little corners” and make a difference today. Let us ask God for the grace to “Rescue the Perishing.”