Saturday, August 05, 2006

Showing Concern in Philippians

I wrote about the background to this story here yesterday, so if you haven't read it, you might want to go there first.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

Philippians 4: 10 - 14

When Paul was in dire need, those who had always cared for him had the opportunity to show it. When I lost my baby, I was showered with love. I received heartfelt emails letting me know that my family was being lifted in prayer. I received cards in the mail. I had meals brought to me for at least a week. I wasn't physically infirm, but by pampering us with a nice meal, our friends could let us know that they were thinking of us, and wanted to help in some way. My small ladies' Bible study wanted to do something, but they knew that my Sunday School had already been providing dinner, so they decided to take a love offering, and then brought me gift certificates--to Chili's, Wendy's, et cetera. Why? To show their concern. Then someone from Sunday School came by and brought two wonderful large plants that they bought with a love offering that was taken in class. It was all a bit excessive. But the end result was that I was able to say, "Something awful happened to me. It was sad for me, my husband, and even four year old Amanda. But if this had not happened, these dear friends of mine, sisters in Christ, would not have been able to show the love that they have for us."

Needing each other helps to bind us together, and can give us joy in the Lord, as Paul expressed. In the midst of a trial, we sometimes need to look for sources of joy, so don't let offered help or sympathy pass by. You might be missing a chance to offer praise to God for the unexpected blessings that they bring.

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This is the conclusion of a week long study of Philippians.

Day 1: Praying from Philippians
Day 2: Parenting in Philippians
Day 3: Standing Out in Philippians
Day 4: Self Confidence in Philippians
Day 5: Strength and Gentleness in Philippians
Day 6: Peace in Philippians


Katrina said...

You're so right. And when we turn down or brush off offered help, we take away opportunity for others - opportunity for them to glorify God by serving others, opportunity for them to be blessed by being a blessing.

The Wooden Porch said...

How great that you had such a wonderful group of friends to support you. I did too, and I was told that helps make a huge difference.