An Extended Arm of Mercy
I would like to leave my testimony and an encouragement to us brethren in one area of service that the Lord has opened up for us. This service concerns the open door in Christian Disaster Relief work. Recently, while giving some time in the cleanup work in New Orleans after hurricane Isaac, I received an impression from the Lord that He has asked me to share.
We had a group of strong, ambitious young men from our congregation “gutting out” homes, as we say, and the work was not always so pleasant. We approached a certain rusty-looking trailer house that was assigned to our group, and the question was raised whether it was worth the time and effort to do this one. You could tell that the trailer was already in sad shape pre-Isaac, but regardless of condition, we were to clean it up. Being “under authority,” we dug in, and it wasn’t long and the contents were out, and the job was done. We were glad the job was done, but later we met another very challenging job. But with many hands in place, that job was completed, also.
One morning during that time the Lord came to me in such a quiet, gentle way and told me that is what He had done for mankind. He had left a beautiful place called heaven and came to this sin-cursed earth, full of muck and filth, damaged almost beyond repair. He had emptied and cleansed the hearts of those who believed on Him of all their worthless contents, which would include the filthy contents of our pride, resistance, and all that pertains to our sinful nature. We know that He went much further than that and filled our houses with new, beautiful contents and gave us spiritual houses that are very comfortable and pleasant to dwell in.
There were many strong, willing young men who left their comfort zone of wives, children, and comfortable homes to work in these conditions, and it was very much appreciated. No doubt, the Lord has blessed inasmuch as it was done as unto Him.
Sometimes we may wonder if our work is worthwhile, and are we reaching the hearts of the people? But if we look at the bigger picture, I believe the Lord, through us, is leaving an influence towards salvation in the communities we work in that we will not realize until eternity. May we humbly, faithfully fill our place, not looking for rewards or immediate results, but have a realization of the price that was paid for our own redemption. May we find joy in being ambassadors of our Lord’s extended arm of mercy in a literal way by laboring faithfully in Christian Disaster Relief work as the Lord opens the doors. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men” (Gal. 6:10).
From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 110, No. 25, December 12, 2012