As I have been coming in contact with hurting people, I often have felt a little overwhelmed, they were facing something I never had experienced and I just didn't know quite what to say. I am learning however that I don't have to know everything or have felt everything, I have a Friend who does know exactly what everybody is going through and He has an answer for every problem. He is there for them and He wants to use me to reach out to them too. Though I am not at all an expert in helping the hurting I thought I would share some of the things that I have learned and encourage you too to reach out to the many people who need to see Jesus through you.
Here are some things that I have found that I can do:
- Introduce them to the Healer of hurts: Jesus Christ. Anybody who is a christian and has a relationship with Jesus Christ can introduce others to Him too. This is the real answer to all their hurts.
- Listen. Many just need someone who is willing to listen to them talk about their problems. This doesn't require any special training, just a little time and attention.
- Have them over to my home to spend time with my family and I. Kids are a wonderful asset in helping people think about positive things. "A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones". Proverbs 17:22 Also I have enjoyed (and those hurting seemed to have as well) spending time working on a project together, visiting and teaching them how I live a simple, frugal and christian life.
- Pray for them! A verse that I recently found very convicting was Paul's example in 2 Timothy 1:3 "I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day."
- If they have physical needs (food, clothing, a ride) try to help as much as you are able. Often I can't help with money (and sometimes that is something I would hesitate to give anyway) but I can give food or some of the abundance of what we have in our house.
- Let them know you are there for them, day or night.
- Just be their friend. I think their are a lot of hurting people who are simply lonely. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, but being a friend doesn't mean you have to go out to coffee together without children or whatever. You can be a friend with your family included (if they have a family try to include them too) and just do things together that you need to get done anyway such as berry picking, grocery shopping, you get the idea.
- Confront my fears and do what needs to be done knowing that I have a friend who is with my all of the time. I have found that reaching out to the hurting can get me in situations that are not comfortable for me, but I believe they will help me to grow. "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7
As I have said before this is not an area that I am an expert at by any means I have a lot of learning to do but I do think I is a job God has given me and I am going to strive to do my best. Also in my striving to be a "Proverbs 31 Woman" this is something that she gave an example of: "She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:20