Bible - Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

Read Philippians 2:1-11 

Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests but to the interests of others.—Philippians 2:3-4 (NRSVUE) 

After a snowstorm and dramatic drop in temperature, a thick layer of ice and snow covered the ground. Although it was blisteringly cold, my husband, Solomon, went out to clear the sidewalk in front of our house. It was hard work, but he slowly began to carve a path. 

Solomon had leaned back on his shovel to take a brief break when a man passed by. He was dressed inadequately for the weather and looked gaunt, but he offered to help Solomon shovel the snow and did so with gusto. As the man shoveled snow, he and my husband struck up a conversation. Upon hearing that the man was homeless, Solomon’s heart was grieved. He knew that during the harsh winter, many people were in dire need of shelter and provision, yet this stranger had approached Solomon with a heart intent on giving. Working together, they cleared the sidewalk. In return for his kindness, Solomon gave the man a gift before bidding him farewell. 

Afterward, Solomon ruminated on the lesson God had shown him—that help can come in unexpected ways and we should be open to receiving it. We each have God-given gifts that we can use to lift each other up and provide hope. 

Prayer: Merciful Father, help us to receive the gifts and assistance of others. Show us how to use our gifts to provide hope and help to those around us. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Thought for the day: Each of us has gifts that can benefit others. 

Madeline Kalu, Germany