Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. —Matthew 6:33 KJV
Global seems to be the latest buzz word. You’ve got to think, speak, and act globally. No more the small-town mindset. Anyone who isn’t sophisticated, well-informed, and technology-savvy just isn’t with it these days.
This global philosophy has infiltrated the Christian ranks too. We’re to pray for the world, for the country, for worldwide missions, for people we don’t know and probably never will. Now, this isn’t bad. Someone needs to pray for world peace and give to missions.
There are those who can handle this information overload. I’m not one of them.
Quite frankly, it depresses me. I’m overwhelmed by prayer lists that grow longer and more disheartening by the day. I feel helpless when I read of a 101-year-old woman on her way to church who’s mugged by an addict who targets elderly women to get his drug money; of children and animals that are tortured and killed; of government officials who are more interested in playing politics, posturing, and pointing fingers than running the country; of misused money that was sent in good faith to alleviate others’ suffering.
Do I really need to know all this? My global prayers seem weak, bumbling, pat, and ineffective.
I keep thinking of the question God asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2). And then I see the need to focus on what I have in my hand. I’m sensing the need to reach out to people around me who are hurting—something I’ve neglected because I’ve been too focused on the global.
I realize God has been saying, “Look to the Lazarus at your gate.” The older I get, the more people whom I know will be hospitalized, lose loved ones, experience crises. These are the Lazaruses at my gate. Yet I’ve insulated and isolated myself from my immediate world in pursuit of the global.
How many decades did Mother Teresa labor in the ghettos of India unnoticed? Now, this woman didn’t think globally. Yet her words resonate in my soul: “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.”
When we focus too much on the global, we can overlook the people around us—family, neighbors, those we meet at church, in the store, at ballgames and on the street—because we may think ministering to them is too small. But the globe is made up of folks like these, and if we each reached out and touched them, the ripples will be felt in all the world.
Dear God, open my eyes to the Lazarus at my gate today. Amen.
Read and reflect on Luke 16:19–31.
From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.
2 thoughts on “Lazarus at My Gate”
I can’t handle a lot of information either. I have to watch how much time I listen or read the news from any outlet; one reason I’m not on FB is that too many pictures and too much info. is presented on each screen. It’s overwhelming, and draining.
What helps is, as you point out, focusing on the needs right around us. Maybe that’s just one person at the time. Some weeks ago I was at the grocery store, and saw someone I used to work with. We stopped to talk, and I found out she was dealing with physical problems, financial and relational problems. God gave me the courage to ask her if I could pray for her. She agreed, and so, we prayed, there in a busy store. I don’t know how God is using that prayer. But I know it made a difference for me. When I think “Oh, it’s just one person.” , I think, “Yes, but for that one person, it can make a big difference.”
I too have prayed with people in the aisle of a busy grocery store. During my prayer time in the morning, I’ve prayed for an opportunity to come that day to be Jesus to someone –– to encourage them, pray with them, whatever the Spirit reveals they need. God never fails to send me the opportunity. May He bless you as you reach out to the Lazarus at your gate.