Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you.” TLV
As I have been going through the process and difficult journey of adjusting to life after the loss of my wife, I have sensed the Holy Spirit directing my thoughts. Some of the things I have been led to seem a bit unusual and I’m sure some will find them difficult to embrace or digest. If I am hearing God, then it applies to me and everyone else. If I am not, then pray for me that He will open the eyes of my heart to understand and return to the right road of life.
I have found the responses of people to me during this time interesting, encouraging, perplexing, and sometimes difficult to comprehend. I have tried to maintain an attitude of grace to everyone in their responses. Some responses, bits of advice, or words have been incredibly difficult to maintain that attitude. However, the Holy Spirit has enabled me to bite my tongue more than once and simply say, “Thank You!”
I was questioning the LORD about some responses or the lack thereof from people I would have thought would regularly contact me. I have been surprised that some whom I have had little contact with over the past 40 years or more have been among the most persistent in checking on me and reaching out. I have had some, I consider my closest friends who have been virtually absent. I was having difficulty with the absence and as I prayed many videos played out in my mind, heart, and spirit.
As I prayed over the absence of some, I heard in my heart of hearts, Luke 6:38. I stopped my praying and musing and questioned God about that response in my heart. I did not understand, and it seemed completely disconnected. It was repeated over and over for several days. I opened my heart and asked for clarity.
As I mused on the matter I remembered the many times, I had stood at the graveside as a minister and told the crowd to not forget the family in the hours, days, weeks, months, and even years to come. I reminded them that they might not have the right words. They would not have the ability to relieve the pain and lessen the hurt. However their demonstration of love and compassion would be remembered in the years following and would be helpful. It would not necessarily be their words, but the fact they cared enough to take the time to call, come by, or send a card or letter would be invaluable and comforting. They would be the manifestation of God’s love in human flesh to those grieving.
The Holy Spirit reminded me of the times, I had failed to follow my own advice. I had gone on with life unaffected and ,in a measure, forgotten the family. It was then that I understood the whisper of the Holy Spirit – Luke 6:38. I was now reaping what I had sown, in a measure. What I had given or failed to give I was receiving.
In everything in life, the Law of Harvest or the Law of Sowing and Reaping transpires. It happens whether we believe it will or not. It happens whether we are aware of our actions or not. It is a principle of life that is interwoven in every facet of our lives.
Look at the verse briefly and let’s extract a couple of things with the hope they will minister to you and enable you to be more careful about how you minister to or fail to minister to those who have lost a loved one. Hopefully, you will extrapolate this to every facet of life and become a much more careful and aware person in the things you say and do know you are planting the seed that will produce a harvest at some time in your life.
It says Give! That is sowing. In sowing and reaping we reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow. We are all sowing seeds that will become a harvest and when our harvest comes, rather than question God we need to reflect on what we have done, said, and believed.
Notice It says, “Give and IT will be given to you…” IT! That amazing little two-letter word is the key to the entire principle and truth. The Bible tells us that we reap WHAT we sow not what we would like to reap. We reap MORE than we sow both good and bad. We reap LATER than we sow. In the natural, the farmer does not plant the seed today and reap a harvest tonight or tomorrow. It may be weeks or months before the harvest is ripe. In life, it may be years but have no doubt, God will see to that you have the harvest you have sown for.
I remembered that I had said to people exactly what I’ve been told during this time, “If you need anything just call me.” As I thought about that, I heard in my heart, “Don’t say that anymore.” I waited and heard, “Instead of saying, call me, say, if you don’t mind, I will call or come by and see if there is anything you need. I will be an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a prayer partner or one who stands in the gap for you and prays while you weep.”
Rather than putting the burden and shifting my Christian responsibility onto the person in need, I am to take the initiative and reach out to them. Additionally, I heard, “Look for what they need, don’t expect them to ask you for it.” What does that do? It frees the person grieving from any sense of imposition and allows them to grieve knowing that there are those who care enough to be proactive on their behalf.
I have had some occasions to practice this since I heard those words in my spirit and I found it to be therapeutic. No, it did not relieve me of my grief and sorrow, but it allowed me to sense the heart of God and be a demonstration of His love to that hurting family. What I did was a very small thing and the person said, “But I didn’t do anything for you when your wife went home to glory.” I said, “Yes you did. You prayed and reached out to inquire as to her well-being before her departure and afterward to let me know you were standing in prayer for me and my family.” That was huge! In a sense, their sowing into my life was producing a harvest for them.
I am not writing this to get anyone to call me. The words, “Call me if you need to talk,” are, in a measure, selfish. Now, I’m in trouble, but that’s what I sensed in my spirit. Rather than putting the burden on the one hurting and absolving me of any responsibility of being my brother’s keeper or comforting the hurting and needy, I am putting it on them. If they do not call, for whatever reason, we can then pridefully say, “Well, I offered.” NO! If a person is hurting to the point they despair of life, which would be a more biblical approach, forcing them to reach out to you or you being one not in pain seeking to restore them?
I’ve heard, “I don’t know what to do, so I don’t do anything? I don’t know what to say, so nothing seemed better.” Think of a time when you were sad, hurting, sick, or needy and someone unexpectedly reached out to you. What did that do to your spirit? There will come a time in the life of those hurting they will be healed enough to reach out to others in the Body of Christ, but in the hour of their deepest pain, they need us to take the initiative and make ourselves available.
There are some things I cannot do with others because the reminder is too painful. Some take that as a plea to leave me alone. The opposite is the reality for the hurting. Sadly, expectations do not always make it easy for us to be honest with each other. I now have set my heart to tell the person hurting, “If this is a bad time and you’d rather not talk, I’ll call or come by another time.” I ask them if I can pray and assure them that I will not only pray but will stay in contact. I look for what is visible that I can do, even if it is some manual task, providing food, or in one case I knew money was what they needed.
In all areas of life, we are sowing, and we will reap! It is not maybe but a guarantee! If God’s word is true, then WHAT WE GIVE WE WILL GET IN RETURN! Thank you for praying for me and thank you for understanding. I am very uncomfortable writing this but feel that it is needful for all of us to remember that those in the throes of pain are not in a position to do the reaching out, they need to be reached out to…
God bless you!