I share this post after having been on the receiving end of encouragement for the last month. “Cups of cold water” as Jesus puts it in Matthew 10:42, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
I am taking note of how God is using others to encourage our family and lift us up during a difficult time. Not because I’m “keeping track” but because I want to learn how to be a better server of cold water to others when I’m back on my two feet again. And who knows, maybe you’ll get some ideas through this post and can serve someone one of these cups in your local church. Regardless of this post or not – it is the Holy Spirit who leads us to do for others if we will listen to his voice. We don’t have to have tips and articles to know how to serve others. He tells us. But I have learned a few things while being down that I’m hoping to share with others.
Cup #1: Cleaning and teaching a child to clean.
A lady came to clean our house this week which was so helpful to us. I’m surprised she didn’t get clobbered by all the dust bunnies that have grown in the last month. When she came she brought packaged dust wipes, windex wipes and a swiffer. And she not only cleaned but she showed our eight year old daughter how to do it as well. I’ve never used any of those products in cleaning – just good old fashioned clothes, mops and paper towels. But these packaged products really made it easier to use for Sophie. Our friend got our home cleaned up so nice and then a few days later I noticed Sophie pulling out all the products again and doing it herself. I resisted the urge to tell her she didn’t need to do it since it had just been done but I wasn’t about to stop my girl from cleaning! It might be a short lived phase of her “wanting” to clean the house but I will enjoy it until it wanes. Ha!! Anyways, I just thought that was so practical and helpful for this lady to not only clean for us but to leave the products and encouraged our girl to do it as well.
Cup #2: Dropping off Paper Products.
One lady brought over a ton of paper products, plastic silverware, plates, cups, bowls, etc. We have used parts of it every single day at every meal. I’ve never thought of taking plastic and paper goods to someone who has just had surgery and will be down for a while but it’s a huge help.
Cup #3: Offering to push your wheelchair on a walk outside.
Another lady offered to take me for a walk down our street in my wheelchair. She said to call whenever I wanted to get out for a walk. A great help when you feel like you’re overworking your daily care givers. I plan to do this because I know the offer was sincere.
Cup #4: Bring magazines.
One neighbor is keeping me stocked with magazines every week. I have never been a huge magazine girl but I’ve turned into one the last two weeks! I am really enjoying them. A variety has been wonderful.
Cup #5: Meals.
Meals being brought to our home is probably the most practical help of all. Even though my Mom and Randy are here they are doing so many other things that cooking is the last thing they’re able to do right now. So the meals have been a huge help and source of encouragement.
Cup #6 Cards.
Cards – oh my, how fun it is to receive cards in the mail with handwritten words. I’m a lover of words, pen and paper so I will always be a sucker for a handwritten note. My church family and friends have inundated me with love in this way. It’s such an encouragement and every day I look forward to mail time! Ha! I feel like a kid at overnight camp waiting for mail call. OMGosh I’m going to be so spoiled rotten by the end of all this.
Cup #7 Gift Basket with practical things in it
I received a well stocked gift basket that truly made me think the person had the exact same injuries because the things in the basket were so helpful and needed at that exact time. I couldn’t believe it. Again, I know this is where the Holy Spirit leads his people to care for the needs of others. In it were things like: hand sanitizer, gum, pens, pencils, page tabs, book marks, lotion, hand wipes, snacks, magazines, thank you notes and plain note cards ( a huge need in a situation like this!), fast food gift cards, etc.
Cup #8 Drive by prayers
This is where our church family has simply parked in our driveway or by the street and prayed over our family. They didn’t come in but prayed over our night – for me to sleep well. For pain to subside. For comfort. And God heard these prayers and acted on our behalf. I believe in prayer. And I’m so thankful my church believes in prayer and gives this gift of cold water to others. It’s a cup that anyone can give and it costs nothing but has great reward. By far my favorite cup of cold!
Cup #9 Visits
This is another cup that anyone can do and costs nothing. The cup of presence. Short visits. Visits with prayer and visits sprinkled with humor. They all help the one that can’t get out regularly.
Cup #10 Texting Scripture
Love this because sometimes you just need to read God’s word in a text message. If God puts His word on your heart to share with someone consider texting it. I find this to be extremely encouraging. It might seem impersonal but think about how many texts you receive in a day. How much of it is God’s Words verses people in your life? I want my text messages to be peppered with scripture.
Well, folks, I could go on. I have felt so very loved by my family, church family and friends. As I mentioned in an earlier fb post there is no need to feel guilt for not doing any of these things because the Holy Spirit is who leads us in serving others. He uses the entire body at different times to meet needs and encourage others. We must not put pressure on one another to do this. Only the Holy Spirit needs to prompt us and as we respond in obedience our church and community will have their needs met in abundance.