We have all heard and read stories from "The Great Depression" and "The Great War" of courageous individuals who, in spite of fear, misery, and desperation, performed heroic acts of kindness and compassion to relieve human suffering.
During the events and aftermath of 9/11, we were inspired by acts of bravery and sacrifice. The images of suffering and pain compelled us to be nicer, to be kinder, to be more compassionate to our fellow humanity. (Of course, in some it also produced an attitude of "Let's go bomb them suckers!" But, that could be another discussion for another time.) We saw, we read, and we heard of men and women who risked, and some even sacrificed their own lives so that others could live.
Many who are reading this traveled to southern Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina to clean, rebuild, and restore hope to the homeless, helpless, and hopeless.
We are experiencing it again as we see the images of the enormous loss of life and property created by the earthquake in Haiti. Thanks to our technical capabilities, millions of dollars were donated immediately following the quake by text messaging the word "Haiti" to 90999. The entertainment community, which is so often criticized for the self-indulgent and egocentric lifestyle, raised $57 million dollars in only a few hours with the "Hope For Haiti" broadcast on most of the major networks. All over our community, Christian artists have held concerts and special events with all donations going to help the people in Haiti. News reports have highlighted stories of small children who hear about the suffering children and want to give their allowance to help the children in Haiti.
In my own life, there have been untold occasions where people have offered to help, insisted on helping, and come to my aid in lovingly creative ways. Where would I be now had it not been for those "do-gooders"?
Where did this desire to do good come from? Why do we have such pain in our hearts when we witness a natural disaster, tragedy, and human suffering? What is it that causes the creative juices to flow as we search for ways to help?
The answer can be found in God's word. Let's look at a statement from two different translations:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are (Ephesians 2:10 CEV).What good thing are you going to do?
In contrast to the evil, almost unimaginable stories of cruelty that we hear about every day, the Lord reminds us that we were made to do good things. The battle rages, but the battle is not futile. We have not been defeated. We have not abandoned the good inside us for the dark side. People long to do good things. God created us to do good things. And He has prepared these good things for us to do long ago. He knew we wanted to do good things. He wants us to do good things.
So, here's the task for this week: what good thing are you going to do?
When the good intention to do something good pops into your head, don't ignore it. Do it! When the impulse strikes, let it happen. When you feel God nudging your heart, trust the nudge, and follow it. Do something good! You were created to do good things.
Enjoy doing good things this week.