I will never forget the story of the starfish. Two people are walking along the beach. As they are walking, they encounter a large number of starfish that have washed upon the shore. One of them bends down, picks up a starfish, and tosses it back into the ocean. The other person asks, “What good did that do? Look at all of them. That didn’t make a difference.” The first person replies, “It made a difference to that one.”
What about you? Would you pick up a starfish? Maybe your starfish is not a starfish at all, but maybe God is calling you to telephone a friend who needs a word of encouragement or purchase a bag of groceries for the family next door. Perhaps God has laid it on your heart to provide a meal for the homeless person you see on the corner each morning you drive to work, or to smile at someone who looks like they are having a bad day. I’m sure many of us would jump at the chance to go on a mission trip to the other side of the world, or to provide clothes, household items, and food for a family whose house burned down. While these things are certainly worthwhile, we need to make sure we do not lose sight of the daily blessing we can be to others.
When Jesus returns to this earth, the Bible says that He will say to those blessed by His Father, “‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’” (Matthew 25:35-36 NIV). The righteous will ask, “‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’” (Matthew 25:37-39 NIV). Jesus will reply, “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:40 NIV).
When we help someone in need, we may not even know their name. But God knows exactly who they are. He knows whether or not we will help them. And if we do help them, we are helping Jesus. For whatever we do for someone in need, we are doing for Him. So the next time you make a phone call to check on someone, visit the local nursing home, pay for someone’s meal, or simply share a smile to brighten someone’s day, remember, you are doing it for Jesus. It may seem insignificant to you, but it is significant to God. Even the smallest action, like tossing a starfish back into the water, can make a huge difference in someone’s life. In the case of the starfish, it not only changed its life, but saved it.
In Christ’s Love,