Let us not become weary in doing good
“I SO WANT TO GO TO TACLOBAN CITY AND HELP!” This is a quote from a World Outreach International missionary wanting to do something in response to the Philippine typhoon disaster last November. This heart cry response was typical of people around the world when they heard the news and saw footage of the horrific damage that typhoon Yoland wrought on many of the central Visayan islands.
Many wanted to do something to help and this is how it should be. Realistically, only a very few people could actually go and help. The most common response (and need) was to give money, which was vital for relief to happen. Christians worldwide were also praying.
When the Asia tsunami struck in December 2004, it was as if the world stopped while looking at the most horrific TV images never seen before. The resulting outpouring of grief, sympathy and practical support for the survivors was unprecedented. The Japanese tsunami in March 2011 was another heart-rending moment when we viewed live helicopter film footage of an event still unfolding before our very eyes as homes, boats, cars and people were swept away like matchsticks. We responded again and so we should have!
Lamentations 3:33 says, “for He (God) does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of man.” In both the Old and New Testaments, the Word of God clearly emphasises that mankind should look out for one another. God expects it of us. It is not even a matter of thinking (or praying) should I but rather of asking how should I – how should I respond?
In Leviticus chapter 19, the harvesters were clearly told not to glean right to the edges of the field nor to go back a second time to pick up anything left behind but rather to leave something for the poor, the underprivileged, the destitute. In Matthew 25:31–46, Jesus highlights certain examples of giving to those in need. He tells us that by doing such deeds, we are actually doing it unto Him. Wow! These are simple yet powerful verses that identify what is really important in life – from heaven’s perspective.
Between the natural disasters above, there have been numerous other humanitarian crises, particularly in developing nations. Some of these have happened in nations that receive very little sympathy from those in developed nations and herein lies a real dilemma when we consider whom we help and whom we don’t. We must not let politics, governments, religion nor a tendency to harbour religious fanatics cause us to discriminate as to who will benefit from our resources and who won’t. People are people. All are God’s creation.
For sure more natural and man-made disasters will happen in our lifetime. Let us not become weary in doing good to others, particularly the less fortunate and remember that as we do so, we are (also) doing it to the Lord Himself.
Let’s leave Him to sort out the rest!
John is the Present Emeritus of World Outreach. He lives with his wife, Mary, in New Zealand.