I love the following verses:
And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.
In the midst of giving the Law in all it's complexities to Moses, God gives them the above instructions. These verses encompass so many things:
- charitable giving
God is telling them that when they harvest their crops and their vineyards, they are not to gather everything from the crop. They are to leave certain areas of the crops and of the vineyards unpicked.
These sections were to be left for the poor who did not have their own crops, and for the strangers who had not been in the area long enough to have fields producing food.
This principle requires a heart of faith that God will meet our needs even though we do not gather everything; and a spirit of compassion to see another's need and invite them to take part of the blessing that we've been given.
This attitude is one of the first to go by the wayside when we lose our hope.
We become fearful and grasping, and are determined to cling to all that we have not yet lost. Our focus is on ourselves and our need; and we do not notice those around us who need something that we have.
It is difficult to change our focus and notice those in need around us when we feel we are in such great need ourselves; but I challenge you that it is so important to do.
When we can acknowledge that someone else has a need at least as important as our need, and when we can consider our part in meeting that need, we are beginning to regain our hope.
Hope is not only believing that God can meet my need, but that He can use me to meet the need of someone else.
I challenge you to look around you for someone who needs something that you can give.
- an encouraging phone call
- a sweet thank you note
- a few hours of babysitting
- some items from your pantry
- a home-cooked meal
- a pat on the back
- a hug
- a smile
- a Bible verse on a notecard
- a book or magazine to read
- dishes washed
- laundry washed or folded
- hand-me-downs from your closet
- a cup of coffee with a friend
- a kind word fitly spoken
There is SO much that we can give, when we ask the Lord to open our eyes to the needs of others – even when we think we are so in need we could not possibly have anything to give another.
There is great hope in meeting another person's need, even when we ourselves are so needy.