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"Just Say 'Yes'" - Girlfriends in God - Sept. 9, 2010

September 9, 2010 

Just Say "Yes" 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others."

Friend to Friend 
Many of our summer meals are created on our outdoor grill. Hamburgers are a regular item on the Southerland summer menu for several reasons. They are inexpensive, easy to prepare and scrumptious. However, I have never considered hamburgers to be health hazards until a few weeks ago.

We live in Kansas where the summer heat can be brutal. Why add to the rising temperature outside by turning on an oven inside? Does that seem logical to you? I didn't think so. It was definitely a hamburger kind of night.

My husband offered to do the grilling but he had just gotten home from work and looked like he needed a nap more than he needed to help prepare dinner. Being the wonderful wife that I am, I said, "Honey, why don't you take a quick nap while I grill the hamburgers?" Being the wonderful husband that he is, Dan responded, "I will be glad to do that for you. It really is hot outside." I should have taken him up on his offer.

I didn't want to be in the scorching heat one minute longer than I had to be, so I quickly seasoned the hamburger patties, slapped them on the grill and quickly headed back into the house to set the table. About that time, our daughter walked in with our youngest grandson in her arms. When Justus saw me, he smiled and stretched out his chubby little arms for me to hold him. I immediately accepted his invitation and promptly forgot about the hamburgers sizzling on the grill. When Danna asked what we were having for dinner, visions of charred hamburger patties danced through my head as I jumped up and made a mad dash to rescue our meal.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that the hamburgers were still edible - barely - but a little charcoal is a healthy addition to any diet - right? I quickly transferred the hamburgers to a plate, closed the lid on the grill and turned to head inside. My foot caught on the leg of a patio chair and I stumbled and juggled the plate of meat in my hand. I was not about to give up those hamburgers without a fight. Instinctively, I reached out for something to break my fall … and found the grill - with three fingers.

Have you ever had an accident that seemed to happen in slow motion? I could feel the searing heat followed by the temporary numbness that accompanies second and third degree burns. Ice! I needed ice and water! I raced into the house, dropped the plate of burgers on the dinner table and said, "Let's eat!" Leaning over the kitchen sink, I turned the cold water on full blast, hoping it would ease the growing pain. It didn't. We tried every pain reliever we had in the house and finally resorted to soaking the injured fingers in a small bowl of ice water - which really did help for awhile - but when the large blisters began to appear, Dan and I headed to the Urgent Care near our home.

The doctor prescribed a cream that she promised would work wonders on the burns. "Will it stop the pain?" I asked because they had taken my bowl of ice water away and I could not believe how much pain three little burned fingers could cause. "It won't help with the pain as much as it will help the burns heal and prevent infection, but you will need a pretty powerful painkiller for the next couple of days," she replied as she wrote a prescription and handed to me. I was surprised to see that it was the same pain medication I had once taken after major surgery. Now, I am not a doctor, but taking pain medication that affects the whole body seems like overkill and almost absurd when only three fingers are in pain. But as the hours passed, I was very thankful for each little pill.

Honestly, I am pretty strong when it comes to dealing with pain but I have to tell you that every part of my body seemed to be screaming, "Pay attention to the fingers! We hurt!"

The Body of Christ should function the same way.

When someone hurts, we should respond to their pain. When one of us is weak, another should be strong. Those who stumble and fall should be able to count on someone to pick them up and finish the race. Instead, we often shoot our wounded and leave them lying in the dirt to find help on their own.

Admittedly, the problem is not always that we are unwilling to help someone in pain. Sometimes we are simply blind to the fact that they exist. We overlook hurting people because we are in a hurry or maybe we just don't want to deal with the mess of a broken life.

Jesus Christ willingly left His throne in Heaven and came to Earth as a man. He felt every pain we have ever felt or will feel. He was afraid and lonely and often had no place to "lay His head." Jesus was misunderstood and slandered and then crucified to pay for our sin. It must break the heart of God when we so easily toss aside what cost Him so much, the life of His only Son, Jesus.

Look around you, girlfriend. Someone needs you to acknowledge their pain and be willing to do something about it. Just say "yes" and God will show you the next step.

Let's Pray 
Father, forgive me for the times I could have made a difference in the life of someone who was hurting, but didn't because I was too busy or just didn't care enough. Break my heart so that I will see the needs of people around me and teach me to recognize the wounded hearts You send my way. Lord, I want to serve You by serving others. Right now, I say "yes" to whatever You have for me to do, Father.

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Matthew 28:19-20. These verses are commonly referred to as "The Great Commission." What would it look like if you really applied these truths to your life?

Take a look at the list below. Which ones have a need you can meet? Now make a step-by-step plan to meet that need.








Are you up for a challenge?

I am challenging every GiG to put hands and feet to this devotion and then share what God does through your willing heart. My husband recently gave up his seat on a flight so that a family could fly home together. The ticket agent was so impressed that she gave Dan the last seat on the plane so he could get home as well. When I posted that experience on Facebook, the huge response surprised me. Looking for and meeting the needs of others should be our "normal" way of life - not the exception.

Go for it, girlfriend! Then tell me about it on Facebook or through email. I love hearing what God is doing in your life!

Need help dealing with stress? Check out Mary's book, Escaping the Stress Trap, for steps that will help you manage stress.  

Join women from across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. Sandpaper People is the current series and will help you discover ten ways to deal with the "sandpaper people" in your life - you know - the ones that rub you the wrong way. When you enroll, you also have access to all of the 2010 studies. Check it out!

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