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More From Nancy Frantel

August 23, 2019 by Nancy Frantel (Virginia, USA)

Several years have passed since I saw the lamb by the road referenced in today’s meditation. I still think about the worker who agreed to help without hesitation. That worker reminds me of my friends who also agreed to help without hesitation.

About ten years ago, an accident left me with serious injuries that limited my ability to drive and complete basic chores. My Christian friends came to my aid, even though it disrupted in their schedules. They supported me during that difficult time, expressing their desire to assist regardless of the request.

My greatest need was transportation to doctor appointments. Most visits were scheduled in advance, but sometimes I would receive a phone call from the doctor’s office with a time change or cancellation. I felt guilty asking my friends to alter their plans. Not only did they have to take time from their responsibilities, they also had to wait until the appointment was over to bring me home.

I also required assistance with chores like cleaning the house, washing clothes, and buying and preparing food. I watched my friends’ faith and compassion in action as I lay in bed. They worked without complaining, and upon completing every task they asked what else they could do for me. On many occasions, my friends brought me home-cooked meals, providing enough food for several days. I didn’t realize until then how many of them were excellent cooks.

My guilt increased as my healing process took longer than expected, and I ended up needing help for several years. While I expected my friends to say they were no longer available, I rarely heard those words. I began to see God’s hand in my recovery. God made sure I had a group of Christian friends who believed in demonstrating faith through actions. It would have been difficult to have someone offer to take me to an appointment and then call at the last minute saying that they were not able to pick me up. Providing words of encouragement, my friends remained loyal even at my lowest points. During visits and phone conversations, they listened not just with their ears but also with their hearts as I fought back tears of frustration and doubt.

In addition to preventing me from doing chores around the house, my injuries limited my ability to continue a writing career. I tried to accept the potential long-term effects of the accident, but I couldn’t see why would God allow me to be an author and then take that away. But then I realized that God had not stopped me, just redirected me. And God placed my friends along the way to make sure I did not give up. Eventually I started writing for a women’s magazine, which helped build my confidence. When The Upper Room accepted and published today’s meditation, I sent prayers of thanksgiving to God. I now understand that God never left me.

My prayer for you is that you receive blessings from people who provide support and encouragement. I pray that we all can realize the importance of trusting God so that God’s good works may shine through our actions.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 2:3-5 (NRSV)

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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