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A Helping Hand in Hard Times

This topic may seem a little odd right here at New Year’s, but I think actually I’m very much on target.

There is little need to rehearse the headaches and heartaches of 2020. Both have flooded our nation all year long and we have all trudged our way through it. For the moment I will simply say it has been a tough year.

We like to think of Christmas and New Year’s as happy times, but for so many people it will not be so. Some are all alone. Others are unemployed and money is in short supply. The lockdowns have created enormous stress. In other words, you need not look far to find somebody who is in the throes of a hard time.

In the midst of hard times, a helping hand can be a major assist to the person who is hurting. So may I suggest a few ways in which we can step up and be a helping hand.

1. Be an encourager.

Instead of fuming, fretting and fussing nonstop, you and I can take a different tone. So what if “the cup is half empty”? Let’s pay attention and call attention to the fact that it is still half full.

Grab hold of some of God’s promises, mark them in your Bible, memorize them and tell others about them.

You can be “a helping hand” by being an ambassador of encouragement.

2. Pray openly.

When someone asks me to pray about something specific, I almost always do so right then and right there. Whether in a restaurant or any public place, I say, “I will; let me pray briefly right now.”

The Lord loves to hear our prayer and answer it. We can be a blessing to others when we pray for them.

3. Make a visit.

Although visits may be limited for the moment, you can be selective. A visit to someone who is lonely or hurting can be a much needed “helping hand.”

4. Take or send a gift.

If a visit is not possible, send a gift. A homemade pie, a gift card or whatever says, “I have you in mind and I care for you.”

5. Be a witness.

In all we do, let’s remember to be a witness for the Lord. Give the Gospel and leave literature that will be helpful to others.

Even a person who is saved may be so discouraged or even in such carnality that he needs a witness of God’s truth given to him.

6. Pick them up for church.

Many, many people will not come to church unless someone brings them. The more discouraged and hurting a person is, the more likely he is to find a hole and crawl in it. The same person may, however, respond to our invitation to church if we go and get him.

7. Buy a meal.

People need not be homeless to need the “helping hand” of a meal you buy for them. But don’t forget the homeless ones too. They may be responsible for their dilemma, but they are nonetheless real people. It is true that food can be a good tool to reach the hurting.

8. Help with chores.

When people are sick or just aged, the friendly “helping hand” that mows grass, washes a car, etc., can be a real boost.

9. Use the phone; text; e-mail.

Communication is a great “helping hand.” These days we have so many viable means of reaching out to others. Use your phone. Send a text. Craft an e-mail. Use the social media private messaging feature.

10. Send a card.

A card with a brief handwritten note can speak volumes.

Okay, you get the idea of what I’m thinking. Even if you yourself are having a hard time, you could still be a helping hand to someone else.

With all the upheaval right now, what a difference it will make if Christians, young and old, will so give themselves to the Lord that they, in turn, become a blessing to others.

A little imagination mixed with a little effort can make a real difference, especially during hard times.

We pray for revival; but in the meantime, we can give a helping hand.

We press for souls; but as we do, we can give a helping hand.

We are living in a tough time; but in spite of it all, we can give a helping hand.

Don’t wait; let’s do it today.


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