Philippians 4:10 – 11 “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.”
In the days of the early church, prisoners were not cared for by the state. They relied on the generosity of family and friends to provide for their needs. Paul had not asked the Philippian church for help. Rather, he had asked the Lord. And at last, help had arrived in the form of a financial gift from his Philippian friends.
Apparently, this wasn’t the first gift the Philippians had sent. They had shown their love and support with a previous gift as well. But in those days, there was no Fed Ex or UPS, or even USPS. Travel was difficult and dangerous. And certainly, the danger factor was increased because of Paul’s predicament. No one really wanted to announce they were the friend of a prisoner.
Paul was so very grateful, so very relieved to receive help at last. Yet, he didn’t want to make them feel guilty for not sending help sooner. “I’m fine,” he assured them. “I’ve learned to be content in any circumstance.” He was grateful, but he didn’t want to be a burden. He didn’t want to beg; rather, he relied on the God to deliver what he needed, when he needed it. He knew the Holy Spirit would impress on the heart of someone, somewhere to send help.
Do you ever feel impressed to give a gift, or send a letter, or make a phone call? Perhaps you don’t know why you feel you need to do that, but yet, the feeling is there. More than likely, that is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart. Someone, somewhere needs a friend, or a hug, or a gentle voice. Someone, somewhere needs to know that somebody cares.
It is sad to me that of all the churches, all the people Paul had helped, the Philippians were the only ones to reach out in this way. Their example should be a lesson to us all: when we get the feeling we should reach out to someone with love, compassion and friendship, we need to act on that feeling! We never know what situation lies at the receiving end of that phone call or letter. And, we never know when we may be the ones praying, needing someone to deliver hope to our doorsteps.
Dear Father, Please help me to stop being so self-centered. Help me to act on those hunches I get to show love to others, knowing that they are from You.
Thank you for the reminder to reduce self. What a wonderful joy it is to yield to the directive of the Holy Spirit, seeing the lives of others changed upon their realization of Who’s they are in spite of Who they are!