Being "There" for Each Other

Oh, hey guys! This week has felt so busy. But I guess that is how a lot of people feel, right? Weeks that are constantly full of appointments, meetings and work just seem to zip by. I mean.. Honestly, I am writing this devotional in-between meetings curled up in a chair in the lobby of my mom’s business.

I am a part time Barista, and a part time Children’s Ministry Director. Fun combo, huh? I think so too. However, today I stopped and asked myself if my schedule lately has been prohibiting ministry… and I believe the answer is yes. We live in a world that runs off of schedules, and time limitations. We have a work schedule, school schedule if applicable, we need to schedule in ministry meetings, and time to spend with family. You may ask me… “Well, how could your schedule possibly interfere with ministry? Part of your schedule is ministry!”….. Yes, you are right. But that is not exactly the type of ministry I am talking about. I am talking about the ministry that happens when we least expect it, and definitely when it is not planned. Those “divine appointments” as some would call them. We keep our schedules so packed and so tight, that we do not allow time or room for the Spirit to move us, change our plans, or put something in the “in-between times”. How can we expect God to use us in large ways if we cannot even commit ten minutes a day to read or Bibles and talk to Him?

One of the most well known verses in the Bible amongst Christian can be found in John 11. In this chapter, Lazarus dies and his family begins to mourn. Martha and Mary even tell Jesus that if He had been there during the time when Lazarus dies- He could have prevented it(verse 21 and 32). Let’s take a look at Jesus’ response to this situation…

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in His spirit and greatly troubled. And He said, “where have you laid him? they said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus Wept." John 11.33-35

After weeping, Jesus continues on and goes to see Lazarus and raises him from the dead. This is an amazing miracle that demonstrates His great power and love. But… Let's not skip over the fact that Jesus did not only hear about Lazarus’s death and go heal him… But He took a moment to minister to the family of Lazarus, and wept with them. The creator of the universe wept with his creation. He looked for and sought out moments to genuinely be there for people, to comfort them, and to draw them closer to Himself.

If you find that you are constantly working, or can never catch up on homework and school.. That is okay. You can still speak into the lives of those around you, and show your coworkers and classmates who Christ is….You do not necessarily need to sit down and weep with every person you come across… But you may be called to weep with some, listen to others, and pray with many.…

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Spend some time studying His word, praying by yourself and with other believers. He will use you to comfort, encourage, convict, and support non believers and believers around you. Keep your eyes open, and seek out opportunity to “weep” with someone this week. Love you guys,

Ellie Stephan