Never Too Busy To Help

Happy Valentine’s Day!
(Perhaps the title for this blog should be, “Never Too Busy To Love”

Have you ever found yourself caught in the storms and messes of life just barely getting by? Life seems to stop. You keep bailing water out of your boat, but it keeps filling up again. Will this storm ever stop?

Currently we are in the midst of  a snow storm which has us stopped for a little while. No traffic on our street, attending church online and while restaurants have just been allowed to reopen, I wonder how many people are going to venture our with their sweethearts today? Probably only those with four-wheel-drive! The busy life has temporarily come to a standstill. Now I have to admit, I am enjoying it. It’s beautiful and I even went out and played in it yesterday. I will be glad though, when it melts and life hopefully gets back to normal. I’m ready for spring.

What if for some reason, it never stopped snowing? What if the snowstorm or a thunder storm or some other life storm threatened to capsize my boat? What would I do then? Would I withdraw and isolate myself? Would I try to fix the mess on my own or would I just keep bailing hoping somehow to stay afloat? Where could I go for help? Do the storms of life sometimes feel that way? Does it sometimes feel like everyone is too busy to help and you are facing your storm alone?

This past year has not been an easy one for sure – Covid, political unrest, social distancing, isolation, school online, loss of jobs for many and of course many of  us have weathered personal storms such as deaths in our family or perhaps our own health issues. Even kids are facing problems they have never encountered before and let’s face it, parents, no matter how devoted you are, you can’t always be available to help. In fact, it’s healthy for our kids to learn to fix some of their own problems. Still the question remains, where can we go for help when storms threaten to capsize us or when we feel isolated, afraid or unloved? It’s wonderful to have friends and family that you can call on. Thankfully my family is very supportive and helpful. Yet this past year, some families have experienced distance even from their closest family members due to restrictions as they have tried to be safe during Covid. But there is one who is always available. He’s never far away. There isn’t a storm He can’t still and He’s never too busy to reach out to us with His love. Yes, His name is Jesus.

When the disciples found themselves floundering in the midst of a violent storm, they awoke Jesus. Jesus immediately stilled the storm.  He reprimanded them for their lack of faith, but He still spoke peace to their storm. Jesus does that for us. He’s not asleep. He knows what we’re going through and He’s never too busy to help. Others may put us on hold or redirect us, but Jesus never does.

What about the storms others are facing? It’s so easy to focus on our own storms and forget the people around us. We may not have the resources or time to help, but Jesus does and we can point them to Him. I wonder if Jesus‘ disciples felt that way? They were so busy bailing water, just trying to stay afloat; they weren’t thinking of the miracles Jesus did earlier that day. They weren’t thinking of what Jesus might ask them to do next. They weren’t even thinking about getting to the other side of the lake. They were thinking about survival and they were scared! Were they even aware of what the other disciples in the boat were doing? They were probably thinking, “How can Jesus sleep in a storm of this magnitude? Hey, Jesus, we could use a little help here. We’re about to drown!” Finally they called out to Jesus and He stilled the storm.

Have you ever been caught in the storms and messes of life wanting to help others, but finding yourself too busy taking care of your own storm to help? You keep bailing water, but your boat keeps filling up. Will the storm ever stop? I can assure you, it will. Hopefully, like the disciples, you are taking your storm to Jesus and trusting Him knowing that He is with you. He will walk with you through any and every storm. He’s not asleep. He knows what you’re going through and He knows how to speak peace to your storm.

What about helping others? Is it possible in the midst of a storm?
Yes, I think it is. When I take my storms to Jesus, He loves, helps me and gives me the strength to comfort, love and help others. When I stop to love and help someone else, my own spirit is lifted, my faith is built and my own storm doesn’t seem so overpowering.

Let’s share our storms and trust Jesus to get us safely to the other side. Storms don’t last forever and Jesus is amazing. He will calm your storm. Keep helping and keep trusting! 

PARENT PRAYER:
Jesus, Help ms as I face the storms in my life – the things that seem bigger and yes stronger than I am. When I feel threatened and afraid, remind me that you are there with me. All too often, I try to handle the storms on my own when you are right there in the boat with me, just waiting for me to cry out to you. I want to also be available for my kids too, but when I can’t be, may I ever be quick to show them that you are always available and never too busy to help. Amen

HELPING & TRUSTING IN A STORM
* Don’t be afraid to let Jesus know that you feel overwhelmed. He knows your doubts and fears. He wants you to bring those to Him.

* Focus on one thing one day at a time. Do what you can do and let God do the rest. He will either give you strength to weather the storm or He will still the storm.

*Let your kids and others know that they too can ask Jesus for help. Pray with them if they feel overwhelmed and let them know they can always to talk to you too. If you aren’t able to talk to them immediately, let them know when you can listen or talk – unless of course, it’s a full out emergency.

THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR CHILD


SHARE A STORY – Jesus Calms The Storm
Matt. 8:23-27, Mk. 4:35-41 Luke 18:15-17

One day Jesus got in a boat with His friends.
He was so tired He fell asleep. 
But His friends were not sleeping.
No, not at all,
They listened to the wind wondering,
When the rain would start to fall?
They watched the sky,
As clouds appeared,
Oh me, oh my, it was just as they feared,
A storm was a comin’,
And land was nowhere near.
The waves rose higher and higher.
The rain began to pour.
The wind blew harder and harder,
And their little boat rocked more and more.
They didn’t know what to do.
They were cold and frightened,
And they were very wet too.
They decided to awaken Jesus.
“Jesus, help us!” they said.
Jesus told the storm to stop.
And just like that, it did!
You see, Jesus can do anything.
There’s nothing He can’t do.
Jesus stopped the storm that day,
And Jesus will also help you.

Jesus loved and helped his friends during the storm and Jesus will help you everyday. He is always with you and He can do anything. You can help your friends too. You can help your friends by praying for them and asking Jesus to help them. You can help your friends by comforting them in storms or when they are sad. You can help your friends by loving them just like Jesus loves you.

PRAYER:
Dear Jesus,
Thank you for being my friend. I know that you love me and are ready to help me. I know that you’ll be with me even when there’s a storm. I want to love and help my friends just like you love and help me. Help me to trust you even when there is a storm. Amen

KNOW: I can trust Jesus to help me even in a storm.
TALK ABOUT: Jesus is my friend.
ASK: Who loves you? Jesus loves me.
AND DO: I can help my friends because Jesus helps me.

MEMORIZE: 1 John 4:19 — (Hold hands open as though holding a book.)
We love – (Give self a hug.)
Because He – (Point up.)
Loved us – (Give self a hug.)
First – (Show one finger.)

FUN ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
* Make a pretend storm – maybe at bath time and talk about how Jesus is with us even in storms.

* Show your love for a friend by sending a card, picture or by helping in some ways.