Bob was one senior who was a tremendous blessing to our ministry. He’d been the kind of volunteer who had been there for every kind of project you could imagine. His whole life-it seems like he’s been a warrior for the Lord. But then, he had some illnesses and an accident that slowed him down-even to the point of walking with a cane and honestly looking a little more stooped than usual. We asked him if he could help oversee this important remodeling project at our Headquarters. Before we could finish the tour of the area that needed work, Bob was spouting out ideas about how it could be done. Later I actually saw Bob in the hallway-walking tall, walking fast, without his cane, like a man half his age!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Healing Power of Making a Difference.”
A new spark, a new spring in his step-what made this almost overnight difference in our friend? At least in part, I think it was the prospect of making a difference again! He was re-energized by having a mission. You know what? That might be just what the doctor-I mean, The Doctor-ordered for someone who’s listening right now.
In Proverbs 11:24 and 25, our word for today from the Word of God, the Bible spells out this healing power of making a difference for other people. Here’s what it says. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
When you’re all focused on yourself, your world is small, your hurts are big, you’re claustrophobic, you’re sometimes bitter and self-pitying. But when you’re focused on people who need you, on things you can do to make a difference, it’s literally life-giving. Jesus described this strange but ever-true equation: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it” (Luke 9:24).
Hold onto your life, you lose it. Give your life away, you find it. I’ve seen that proven true from teenagers to people way up in years. We all need a mission. It begins by looking around your world and just asking, “Who needs me around here? Who can I help with what I know? Who can I help with what I’ve been through?” Often we’re looking for someone to help us instead of someone to help. We’re focused on who could meet our needs instead of whose needs we could help meet. And we’re miserable. Nobody wants to come to our pity parties, and life looks ugly because we keep looking through a dirty window, and that window is called “It’s all about me.”
Maybe it’s time for you to think more about “giving your life away”-about a mission you could become involved in. You might have some very real limitations, some hurts, some handicaps. But there is someone you can help with what you know; whether it’s in person, or letters, or emails, with the phone, or at least you can tell them about your Jesus and help them be in heaven with you.
A young man once wrote to Mother Teresa, and he was asking how he could have the kind of significance with his life that she was experiencing as she ministered to dying people in Calcutta’s worst slums. She wrote back just a four-word reply: “Find your own Calcutta.” That’s the answer. Find a place where you are needed, where you can pour yourself into someone other than yourself, into something bigger than yourself. And, when you do, prepare to experience the awesome healing power of making a difference!