Have you ever struggled financially? I vividly remember when my husband, Mark, and I went through a season of financial hardship. My children were young, so they weren’t keenly aware of how we were struggling. There were days when I would be standing in the grocery store calling my husband to see if I could buy a gallon of milk or if my debit card would be rejected. It was a hard season of life. It was embarrassing to have to pull things out of my cart and ask the clerk to put them back because I couldn’t pay for them.
This past week I found myself standing in the checkout line in the same grocery store buying graduation cards. An older gentleman was in line in front of me purchasing, you guessed it, a gallon of milk. He had a handful of nickels and one dollar bill. The clerk rang up his milk and told him the total. He began counting out his nickels and came to the conclusion he didn’t have enough money. Sheepishly, he apologized and told her he would have to go home and see if he could find some more money and come back later. My heart ached for him, feeling his pain and knowing the shame he felt. I immediately stepped up and said, “Add it to my bill, I’ll gladly pay it.” I turned to him and smiled and told him I’d been there and was now in a new season of life. He would find his way out too and then he could bless another. He gave me a grateful smile and said, “God bless you” as he took his milk and went on his way.
God did bless me. He blessed me by allowing me to bless another. I paid my bill and walked out to the car thanking Him for the reminder of where I had been and to be thankful for everything I have [Psalm 106:1].
As I climbed in my car, I realized Jesus had done for me as I had done for the man in the store. I came with a debt to pay and there was no way I could pay it [Matthew 18:23-35]. Jesus, in His loving kindness, stepped forward and said, “Add it to my bill, I’ll gladly pay it” and in the courtroom of heaven my slate reads “Paid in Full” [Romans 5:]. Jesus tells us we no longer need to hang our heads in shame, because “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” [Romans 8:1].
Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to be His hands and feet. He will. It is His desire that we serve others as if we were serving Him [Colossians 3:17, 23, Matthew 25:40]. In many cases, He will take you to someone who is facing the same point of need you once experienced. That is your opportunity to lift another’s chin, breaking shame and guilt off of them, so they can walk in the fullness of Christ. What will you do? How will you reach out today?