Embrace Each Moment
By Teresa Novak
Ready “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” -Philippians 2:1-4
Set Recently, my teenage son had to do something that was way too grown up. He had to get up, put on a suit and head to a local church for a funeral. It was the funeral of a friend, another teenager. It was not an easy thing for him to do or to face at such a young age. Sadly, he has walked this path before. Several years ago, another of his friends lost his life in a four-wheeler accident. In that service, my son and his eighth-grade football teammates served as pallbearers. They all wore their football jerseys to the service and stood at the casket with so many questions running through their minds. “Why? Why him? Why now?” It was an awfully young age to struggle with such questions and to endure the sadness of never seeing that friend again—at least not here on earth. Now, here he is again—the loss of another friend, way too soon and with different circumstances. The circumstances surrounding his death and the lack of evidence as to the cause leave many unanswered questions. Possibly, the biggest questions of all, “Could this loss have been prevented? How could I have helped? How could I have made a difference?” Going through this with my son made me think, too. How many times have I heard or seen someone make a destructive choice? What have I done? Have I lent a shoulder, made a call, reached out and really cared? Or have I thought it was someone else’s job, tried not to be “nosey” and let them mind their own situation? I think I’ve done a little of both. In examining this, it dawned on me. I have been lukewarm when Jesus calls us to be on fire! He calls us to live and walk in the faith every day and in every situation. It’s a challenge, but He never promised that our journey would be easy, only that He would be on the journey with us. In Scripture, we know that God calls us to be bold (Joshua 1:9). He calls us to lean on Him and ask for His guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6). He promises that He will comfort us when we are hurt and suffering (Matthew 5:4). But, He also asks us to live our faith fully and to trust Him completely (Matthew 6:33). He asks us to be His hands and feet and to reach out to others and share the gospel (Matthew 28:19). I don’t think Jesus worried too much about being nosey; He cared too much about our salvation. So, today, I encourage you to be a friend to all, and especially to those in need. Pray for those you love and know that each moment is a gift. Be the hands and feet of Jesus—as a student, coach, teammate, friend, co-worker and family member. Make a difference.
Go 1. What does it mean to be a good friend? 2. What does it mean to be the hands and feet of Jesus? 3. When you are in pain, do you turn to Jesus for healing and comfort? 4. When do you turn to Jesus to share your joy?
Workout Psalm 34:18 1 Corinthians 12:27 Ephesians 5:1-2