It is one of my favorite things about God - how, when he tells us to do something, it is for us, it is for OUR benefit, it is for OUR good. He's not sitting in heaven watching for someone to follow the rules and then pulling a string to drop blessings on the one who is obedient - the rules ARE the blessing. His commands, the things he asks us to obey, are for US. He doesn't tell us to forgive so a burden will be lifted from someone else - he commands us to forgive so a burden will be lifted from US. He doesn't tell us to be careful with our words simply to avoid hurting other people - he tells us to be careful because the words we use affect US.
And when he tells us to love others - when he says this is the second greatest commandment - it is not only for the people we love, it is for US.
This is what I don't want you to miss, single mom who likely has more than her share of burdens, I don't want you to miss this step. LOVE OTHERS. It is too easy to get lost in the muck - in all of those unfair and impossible things.
In two sermons and on one radio show this week, I heard speakers talking about "reaching out" to single moms or "helping" single moms. Don't hear me wrong because I think this is fantastic. Many among us could use a hand - we could use a little love sent our way. But those messages are given to encourage the hearer to reach out to others AND THOSE MESSAGES ARE FOR US TOO. It is not a message to single moms to wait for someone to help them, or to get angry because no one is complying. Even if we are on the list - that list the preacher gives of people who could maybe use a little help, a little love - we are still called to reach out.
And this call is for OUR good.
Because if you are focused on your own muck, it will drown you. We have to look out - away from ourselves. We have to turn our attention from our muck to the muck of others. God gave you gifts - talents and skills - and He has a purpose for your life, for every day you live. He wired you to find fulfillment in reaching out to others, in offering your talents and skills for their sake.
Freedom is there in the reaching out. Growth is there. Healing is there.