How blessed is he who considers the helpless;
The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.
The Lord will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;
And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed;
In his illness, You restore him to health.
Psalm 41: 1-3
I was so excited when I read this verse. Yet another promise of healing from God. A beautiful promise for those of us who are in need of healing; for those of us willing to consider the helpless.
I have to admit that puzzled me. Who are the helpless I need to consider? At first, I thought of homeless people and considered them. I have fed homeless people. I thought of incarcerated people and considered them. I have ministered to people in prison, maybe that counts. I considered kids, they are helpless, aren’t they? I work with kids, I consider them, and I am nice to them, does that count? I felt unsettled about this. So I prayed that God would show me the helpless people in my life that I need to consider.
He surprised me by showing me people a little closer to home. Like my husband. And my son. They are not what I would consider helpless, clueless at times, but helpless, I don’t think so. I do find myself getting frustrated with them over things that I think they should be able to do. Like put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink.
I was even helpful enough to put up a gentle reminder for them.
Did not make one bit of difference.
Maybe they are helpless after all.
Further evidence of seemingly helplessness – leaving jackets and backpacks on the dining room table. Everyday. Or leaving shoes all over the place. These things irk me and I have to admit that, at times, my frustration has led me to consider them and not in a positive way. What if, instead, I considered them in a gracious way and purposed to think and behave kindly towards them even when the sink is full of dirty dishes and I am totally frustrated.
I think ministering to prisoners would be much easier.
But God didn’t show me prisoners when I asked who I needed to consider, He showed me these people. The people of my household; the ones that know me best. I want the blessings that this verse promise but they are conditional on my considering the helpless. Even if that means I treat my husband and son with love and respect regarding their seemingly helplessness about dirty dishes and clothing and shoes.
Feeding the homeless, I feel certain, would be so much easier.
All of this may seem trivial, I mean, I’m talking about dishes and such, but someone once said that charity begins at home. My attitude towards these piles of dishes, shoes and clothing was anything but gracious. My attitude is not trivial to God or to those I live with. Are they truly helpless, not but that is not the point, but point is God sees my heart and my heart wasn’t right. And according to this verse, healing follows a right heart. So, by God’s grace, I will consider the members of my home not so much as helpless but as persons in need of charity. Persons like me who make mistakes and need grace.
Perhaps my next sign to hang up should be one addressed to me. It could read like this:
How grateful I am Lord God that You only treated me with grace and mercy and charity. I know how undeserving I am of those things and You continually give and love and take care of me. Forgive me for the times I have not thought or behaved charitably to the members of my household. Help me to hold them in the high esteem that You hold me, that You hold them,not because I deserve it or they deserve it, but because of what Jesus did on my behalf, on their behalf. In His name, I pray, Amen.