Bring Your Boats
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27
Hurricane Harvey brought catastrophic flooding to eastern Texas in 2017. The onslaught of rain stranded thousands of people in their homes, unable to escape the floodwaters. In what was dubbed the “Texas Navy,” many private citizens brought boats from other parts of the state and nation to help evacuate stranded people.
The actions of these valiant, generous men and women call to mind the encouragement of Proverbs 3:27, which instructs us to help others whenever we are able. They had the power to act on behalf of those in need by bringing their boats. And so they did. Their actions demonstrate a willingness to use whatever resources they had at their disposal for the benefit of others.
We may not always feel adequate for the task at hand; often we become paralyzed by thinking we don’t have the skills, experience, resources, or time to help others. In such instances, we’re quick to sideline ourselves, discounting what we do have that might be of assistance to someone else. The Texas Navy couldn’t stop the floodwaters from rising, nor could they legislate government aid. But they used what they had within their power—their boats—to come alongside the deep needs of their fellow man. May we all bring our “boats”—whatever they may be—to take the people in our paths to higher ground.
Lord, all that I have is from You. Help me to always use what You’ve given me to help others.
Helping others by doing good when it’s in our power to act (Proverbs 3:27–28) is also the focus of Paul’s instructions to believers. Encouraging us to live meaningful and purposeful lives before a watching, non-believing world, Paul tells us to “be very careful, then, how [we] live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15–16). Careful living means we are to live godly lives as “children of light” pleasing to the Lord (vv. 8, 10). Paul expects “those who have trusted in God [to] devote themselves to doing what is good” (Titus 3:8). We are to adopt a never-give-up attitude when it comes to serving others: “Let us not become weary in doing good . . . . As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9–10).
What can you do this week to serve someone?