From Jason Puckett
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar. (Psalm 139:1-2)
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (Romans 15:1-2)
One of my frequent prayers is to have God’s eyes; that I might have His heart for His people, my neighbors. As we spend time in community we get to known our neighbors and hopefully to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses. Even then, it is sometimes not obvious to see how we might build one another up.
As the beauty of Friday’s snow fall revealed itself in the light of the passing day, it was not without some side effects; the storm began very warm and wet and the weight of the snow had pulled down branches, and with it power lines, across metro west. On Friday evening we called to check on a home-group friend who has some mobility challenges and had just had cataract surgery. We learned she was without power and heat, but managing.
By Saturday morning, as I contemplated my day and the many things I had to do, (which included reflecting on this passage), our friend called to say she still had no heat and was cold. This was an interruption to my plan for the day; but would soon be a blessing. I knew my neighbor’s need and had a gift to offer - bring her to our house where we had heat.
It was a great blessing and encouragement to build up my neighbor in this simple way – come into my house. All the more so because I was built up as well; I was spared the trapping of my weakness – my had-to-do list, my pleasing myself alone – and given the opportunity to be a servant.
My continued prayer is that I would not only have God’s eyes for my neighbors, but that I would be looking for opportunities to both bear with and to build up one another.
I am a husband and a father who especially enjoys skiing and hiking in God’s creation. I work as a Systems Engineer.