Recently I shared how we are able to minister to others even when we’re struggling. Ministry comingles with our testimony, a constant public humming of how God has loved us, filled us with grace, lifted us, and carried us through our brokenness, and sometimes that public proclamation comes even as we hurt, even as we question, even as life hurls projectiles at us and we’re scrambling for Jesus more than ever. Our open brokenness draws others close to us because they can relate, and when we keep our hearts and our heads planted in God’s Word through this struggle, the Holy Spirit ministers in spiritual ways we can’t even comprehend.
The blogs and posts – now and even in the past through my blog Noah’s Road which chronicled my son’s devastating brain injury – that are my most raw, the most painful to write, the ones with the hard truths I would like to sweep under my new Target rug, are the ones that have been shared the most and ministered to the most people. As I’ve cried over my keyboard sharing my hurts and hopes with you, as I’ve questioned and delved into the truths of God’s Word, in that openness you’ve told me you’ve been blessed. Through my pain you’ve found promise. Through my searching and yearning for God, you’ve found Him in my writing. Why? Because we need to be seen. We need to be heard. We need to feel we’re not alone. And God knows this about us.
God has given us this great commission to make disciples (Matthew 28) who will share the good news of Jesus, but He never told us we needed to be perfect to do it. He never told us it would be easy. Goodness, He built the church on Peter, the guy who disowned Him three times in a few hours, a guy was so quick to react that he sliced a man’s ear off, and a guy who was so fragile and weak in his ministry that when Jesus died he quit it all and went fishing. Or what about Paul who was basically a holy jerk until Jesus got ahold of him? Still, as he preached and traveled, he struggled with fear (check out Ephesians 6:19-20) and a thorn he referred to as a “messenger from Satan” meant to torment him (2 Cor. 12:7). BUT he STILL spoke out in celebration of suffering because he knew it was blessing all those who sought God around him and beyond him.
Friends, we’ve all been broken. (If you haven’t yet, please let me lovingly tell you it will come. It’s pretty much a promise (John 16:33) because we live in a broken world under the control of Satan (1 John 5:19).) But no matter how broken you are you can bless others through it. Stepping out will not only plant seeds of hope and Jesus in those around you, but you’ll find that Jesus can do more in our selfless servant-hood of others than a surgeon. When you bless others in spite of your brokenness, you’ll find your hurts less debilitating, your struggles less constricting, and your hope elevated beyond the heavenly realm. I can say this, friends, because I live it. It’s hard but it’s holy.
Here Are Nine Practical Ways You Can Bless Others No Matter Your State of Brokenness
- Pick one person you don’t know well and ask her how you can pray for her.She’ll be shocked, but she’ll be thankful. Pray for her each evening before you go to bed or when you rise in the morning.
- Share one way God has blessed you or delivered you.You can do this on social media or you can do this in a small group. No matter how you do this, God will put people in front of you who need to hear what you have to say. He has delivered you to also deliver others.
- Prepare and deliver a meal to someone who’s struggling.This may be a mom who’s overwhelmed or a co-coworker battling cancer, but no matter the situation, a home-cooked meal is a simple way to serve. And frankly, it doesn’t even need to be home cooked.
- Sign up to serve with your church.You’re busy; I get that. But when you serve and put others first, God blesses you. When you don’t feel like it, serve. When you are cranky and low and frustrated, serve. God loves to bless you when you give to His kingdom.
- Make a weekly coffee date with a friend and discuss a page in a devotional together.There’s no need to even buy a devotional, as there are plenty of plans on the Bible app. When you share your struggles with someone and Scripture is your foundation, you’ll both be ministered to.
- Reach out to your pastor or a director of ministry in your church and thank them for their dedication and service. A word of affirmation to someone in ministry is a powerful blessing.
- Invite people you don’t know well to your home for a meal. Keep the invite list as open as possible and encourage guests you don’t know. Make it pot-luck style so you can focus on making others feel welcome and loved instead of stressed about timing a meal. Hospitality doesn’t have to be a Martha Stewart-style competition; the best hospitality and most profound ministry is the opening of your heart.
- Treat a friend to a women’s conference. You’ll both be blessed by the experience, but your friend will be so touched by your generosity that she’ll be doubly blessed.
- Quietly pray for people in your path.When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, he told them to close the door behind them and do it in private. Your prayer time is powerful, sometimes even more so when it’s just between you and God – without an audience. Pray for those who are suffering, and keep a list of the people you can pray for. When you feel at your worst, you have this list to quantify how you’re impacting the lives of others, even if they don’t know it!
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