6.17.18 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Gifts and Service

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• My great-uncle died last night.

A painfully shy, lifelong bachelor, my uncle wasn’t supposed to live past his 20th birthday.

He had a severe case of scoliosis which wasn’t as treatable in his youth.

But he died last night, a man in his late 80s.

My husband summed him up best — he was a gentle man.

And he will be missed.

But we know where he is and we know his mind is clear and he’s whole.

As much as honoring his memory is important, I want to share about my grandmother.

For almost two years, my grandmother has lived in Kentucky, taking care of her older brother.

They were always close, so watching him grow more and more distant was very hard on her.

But she knew that he wouldn’t be able to survive an assisted living facility.

(His shyness was overwhelming to the point that he may have easily been diagnosed with agoraphobia and enochlophobia — fear of situations that might cause panic and fear of crowds, respectively.)

My grandmother has two very special spiritual gifts… the gifts of caring and service.

For two years, Mamo has put her life on hold and left her home in NC to make sure her brother’s last days were as comfortable and dignified as possible.

This isn’t the first time she’s put her own wants and needs aside to care for someone else.

When my mom had a terrible accident 20-some years ago, Mamo moved in with us for a year to take care of her.

When my son had seizures as a toddler, she would make sure he was safe and rub his arms, legs, and back after the seizures passed.

When I was sick with a 105 degree fever, she stayed with me for a week to take care of me.

When my Papo was sick, she did everything she could to make sure his last days were what he wanted them to be.

My grandmother probably doesn’t think twice about her actions.

But I do.

I see the selflessness that puts others above herself.

I see obedience to God who has put these situations in her life so she can use her spiritual gifts to nurture and care for others and by doing so, be the hands and feet of Jesus.

The selfless love she gives undoubtedly makes Him proud of her.

And in her free time, she studies Scripture and prays for others.

My grandmother’s spiritual gifts of caring and service are underrated gifts.

While she uses them abundantly with her family, she also demonstrates care to others through words of encouragement, prayer, and compassion.

I don’t think many would do what she’s done for the last two years; I think many have even questioned why she did it.

She certainly had plenty who would have understood if she had thrown her hands up and stuck her brother in a home so she could go home.

But my grandmother has embraced the words of Philippians 2:3 which says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”

She has taught me so much without saying a word.

I think we can all learn from her example.

Today, as you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to help you put others above yourself, knowing that through humility, you will eventually be exalted (1 Peter 5:6).

Even if you have a different brand of spiritual gift, as Christians, we should all embrace an attitude of service.

And if you would please lift my family in prayer, I would appreciate it.

There is still a lot to be done before my grandmother can come home.

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