Love One Another – Giving when we are Empty

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I stood in line at the patient check out desk listening to the admin congratulate all three of the women in front of me on their pregnancies.

I was praying with all of my heart that I could hold myself together until I could get to my car. I didn’t want to dampen their joy with my sorrow and I certainly didn’t want these women whose wombs were full of life to pity me because mine was not.

I barely made it to the parking lot. By the time I got to my car, my body was so racked with sobs I had to concentrate on not getting sick. I just wanted to get home, crawl in bed and forget this day. Finally, my sobbing abated enough for me to drive home. I prayed as I drove, begging God to give me peace in my grief.

I thought surely I was misunderstanding when I felt Him impressing on me to call a dear friend of mine with a newborn.

“Really, God? Right now? I don’t want to do that. Please don’t make me do that.”

Like a petulant child, I tried to convince God to change His mind about this. But the impressing on my heart got even stronger. So, even though I was quite sure there was nothing left in me to give, I obeyed and I called her.

I heard the raw emotion in her weary voice. No one had reached out to her in weeks. She felt like no one cared, and she was forgotten and alone. We were both in the midst of a famine, hers after becoming a Mom again, and mine as I was so desperate to be a Mama of even one.

In my obedience to call my friend when I felt my heart couldn’t handle it, God gave me strength to love on and encourage her.

As I prayed with her, I asked Him to come alongside her during this difficult time and I asked Him to bless her children. I praised Him for these blessings because He is the God of all creation and He is the One from whom all blessings flow.

I wish I could tell you that my grief and pain ended with that call. I wish I could tell you that I have become someone’s Mama in the months and years since then. But neither of those things happened.

What did happen is my God reminded me that He has empowered us and commanded us to love others, even in the midst of our pain. Even (especially) when we feel we have nothing left to give.

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:34-35 (NASB)

Father God, thank you for your great love for us. Thank you that because you first loved us, we can love one another. Help us to seek ways to encourage and build each other up even when we ourselves are struggling. Help us use our struggles to gain compassion for others who are struggling. Help us give when we feel we have nothing left. Help us to serve others when we’re tempted to pass up the opportunity. We love you Lord, and we want to honor you with our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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