Make an effort to be there for someone in need

By Debra Whttington

Religion Columnist

Do you ever experience a feeling that something is wrong but you don’t know what it is? Over New Year’s, I made some plans but for some reason I got the feeling I needed to cancel them. Long ago, I learned when I got one of these feelings that I had better listen to what it was telling me.

Sometimes when I get those feelings, I am getting ready to take a trip. Mark and I were planning to get away in the fall for a few days to relax. Suddenly, the feeling got so strong I told Mark we shouldn’t go. The next week he was diagnosed with a blood clot in the lung.

Most of the time, I never know the reason why I am held back, but I don’t question it. I just learn to accept it and move on even when I am frustrated I didn’t get my way.

On the other hand, there were many times I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to do something that made no sense whatsoever. Back in the summer of 1990, I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to go visit my parents and my grandmother. It wasn’t the most convenient time to go, but I listened to my feelings and went.

I had the most amazing visit with them, that was one of the happiest times of my life. When I went to hug Daddy goodbye, I hugged him harder and longer than usual. He died suddenly three days later of a massive heart attack. I was always thankful I listened to that urging to go home.

The Holy Spirit is always faithful in giving me instructions on how to live my life but sometimes I don’t listen. I think I become too busy and preoccupied with other things that I fail to get valuable instructions.

Last week, I felt a burden for a friend but had no idea why I felt that way. God kept placing her on my heart all week and I would stop to pray for her whatever circumstance she was going. I knew something had to be wrong and I thought all I had to do was pray. While prayer is an important part of our lives, we sometimes need to put feet to those prayers. In James 5:16 we read, “Confess your faults to one another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed”. James concludes this verse with these important words, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. I thought I was doing everything I needed to, but I was very wrong.

Imagine my surprise when I saw her and learned that a family member was very ill. I felt as though I had let her down. Of course I prayed for her all week, but never once did I call her to find out what was going on. I used the excuse that she is a very private person and would tell me if she wanted me to know.  I was heartbroken and apologized to her for failing to keep in contact. I won’t make that mistake twice.

In Galatians 6:2, we are told to, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ”. I was in a way bearing her burden through prayer, but she didn’t know and it would help her more through this crisis by going along side with her.

We don’t know what will happen with the family member and I have offered to help her, but I won’t stop there. I will let her know often that I care for her and her family and am praying for them. I know in my own life it helps more when someone keeps in contact with you during a crisis than telling you afterward they prayed for you. It is so important to put feet to those prayers.

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:
dawhittington@msn.com

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