God doesn’t need us. His being or greatness isn’t dependent on us. But He chose to create us, to give each of us life, to teach, to love, and to use us. He doesn’t have to. He chooses to. What a magnificent and humbling thought! This privilege means that we get to partner with God the Almighty, the omniscient, omnipotent Spirit of life, in His plans! He actually takes pleasure in our involvement.

Look at it this way: God knows each of us intimately. He could fix everything for us as we ask, without us ever telling a soul about what the problem is. OR, He could let us help each other by hearing their needs and bringing them jointly to the Lord, getting us all to share in one another’s lives. He could heal a man of cancer by just the man praying about it, or He could allow hundreds of family and friends to pray in unity for that man. He doesn’t need us all to pray for that man, but it delights Him when we come together as a part of His family and help each other.

God even arranges for us to pray for one another, and encourage one another! There are many Biblical examples of this, but let’s talk about one. When Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and was blinded for 3 days, Jesus arranged for a complete stranger named Ananias to visit Saul in Damascus to heal his blindness and baptize him after his conversion. Jesus spoke to Ananias about this in a vision, and told him details of where to find Saul and why he was blinded. Also, the Lord had shown Saul in a vision that this man was going to heal him. The Lord didn’t have to use Ananias to heal Saul (who later became Paul), but He chose to. He decided that a believer, one like those that Saul had been persecuting in the church, would bring him healing and help.

The ways of the Lord are mysterious to us at the time, but when you look back and reflect on how those circumstances played out, it is beautiful to see God’s handiwork and how He appointed us to further His purposes in other’s lives.

One afternoon as I was out walking in our neighborhood, I approached a house where 2 young children were playing on their sloped driveway. Within a few seconds, I saw someone get in the parked car that was at the top of this driveway, and begin to back up. The driver apparently did not see the young boy about 10 feet directly behind the car! Somehow I calmly yet firmly said to the child, “Little boy, I think you should move, because that car is backing up.” He replied and moved quickly, about 1 second ahead of that car backing over him. If I hadn’t been out walking and if that boy didn’t listen to me, then today that family would be extremely heartbroken. But, the Lord put me there at that moment to help him. God didn’t have to use me though. He could have just whispered into the driver’s ear to look before he got in the car. Instead, He used me. That was truly humbling. When considering the other potential outcome, this shook me to the core.

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Philippians 2:13

God delights in seeing us bless people by sharing in their life’s circumstances, whether good or bad, easy or difficult. We are not meant to do this thing called life alone. Yes, He is there with us and hears our prayers, but life is better lived when we are together in struggles and hurts, uplifting each other and taking people’s hearts to the throne room as a group, as a family of believers. He chooses to let us share in His plans by loving others as He does, by helping others as He does, and by praying for others as Jesus did.

Our testimony of how God has changed our life could really encourage and bless someone else. He can take an extremely troubling past in someone’s life to actually encourage someone else that is going through the same thing. We could share an answered prayer that might lead another to have more faith. Our experiences, when we allow them to, can have a huge impact on someone else. The Lord puts us in that person’s path for a reason. Whatever your personal story is, God wants you to use your trials and tribulations to help someone else through it too.

The Lord God gives us the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than our own life by partaking in the suffering and joys of others! God doesn’t need 1,000 people to pray for someone to be healed. He doesn’t even need 1 person to pray about it. But, that is what pleases Him: when we are united in all things, when we come together, in His name.

Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 12:50

Take those opportunities that God puts in front of you to be a part of someone else’s story. Engage, encourage, hug, help, pray, bless, love. These actions please our God immensely as you are actively pursuing His heart, and partaking in His plans.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
Proverbs 19:21

“(God) declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'”
Isaiah 46:10

“…may the God of peace…equip you with every good thing that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen”
Hebrews 13:21

Food for thought: Are you sharing in someone else’s life with specific prayer or a helping hand?

Fun facts: The Amish barn-raising is something that still takes place in their communities. The entire community comes together to help each other in times of need as both a social event and for mutual aid. The framing will be completed in a day, with the entire process taking less than a week from concrete flooring to painting.

Photo by: Randy Fath – Barn Raising.