Throughout our lives, we are given many opportunities to serve others. These opportunities for serving present themselves in a variety of ways: some obvious, some not so much. We may have the chance to drive someone to a doctor’s appointment, or someone may ask us to babysit while they go for a job interview. Or it could be something as simple as fixing a meal for someone who is going through a busy or difficult time. Over the last few years, I have come to see how truly helpful this last opportunity can be.
Four years ago I gave birth to a beautiful set of boy-girl twins. Unfortunately, our baby boy was born with a hole in his right lung and was flown to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. For the first eighteen days of our babies’ lives, my husband and his parents stayed in Dallas with Cayden while my family stayed with Jayden and me at home. Needless to say, it was a very hard time in our lives. One thing that helped alleviate the stress, more than I ever would have thought, was the meals our wonderful church family provided during this time. I was truly shocked, and thankful, to see just how much not having to worry about preparing a few meals helped.
More recently, three weeks ago I had two major surgeries at once. I was told not to lift more than 10 lbs for at least the next four weeks…not an easy restriction to follow with four-year-old twins and a 16-month-old at home. Once again some of our sweet ladies pitched in to provide us with a couple of meals. With me being laid up, family staying with us to help take care of the kids, and my wonderful husband working all day then coming home to take care of me, those meals were definitely appreciated. It was very nice to not have to worry about what to fix to eat and be able to focus on everything else that was going on.
Having been raised in the church, I have always taken for granted helping fix meals for funerals. But somehow, fixing meals for other occasions, such as the ones mentioned above, escaped me. I knew some of the ladies sometimes did, but honestly (I am embarrassed to say), never thought much about it. I would never have realized just how big a help that can be if it weren’t for our wonderful ladies at worship who set the example.
Scripture tells us that the older women are to teach the younger. Titus 2:3-5 says: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, submissive to their own husbands that the word of God may not be reviled.” Helping feed my family through these difficult times has definitely taught me a valuable lesson.
I am beyond grateful to our church family for all the love and support they give my family, but I am especially grateful for this wonderful lesson from our ladies. It is something so simple, yet makes a huge impact. It does not require a lot of extra effort (just double whatever you are making for your own family), but it can save someone else a lot of time and effort that they may need to put elsewhere.
Ephesians 5:13-14 says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Serving others does not necessarily require a huge sacrifice or a large amount of time, but it does show others how much you care…for them and for God. By providing this small service to my family, our ladies showed me their love and concern for us. But more importantly, they showed me their love for God.
Several years ago, a very special brother, Tony Hall, came up with the idea of making an I.M.P.A.C.T.-I Must Personally Advance Christ Today. In talking about it (or in this case, writing about it), simply fixing a meal for someone seems like such a small thing. But anytime you put others ahead of yourself, anytime you make an effort to help someone else, it is a big deal. You never know just how much an impact even the smallest acts can have. It is my prayer that I will remember how much help these meals provided for my family and myself, and that I will repay this kindness. This is one way I can make an I.M.P.A.C.T.
Written By: Christie Fredman
Christie lives in Loco, OK with her husband, Billy, and their three children-4 year-old twins Jayden and Cayden, and 16-month-old Braelyn. She is blessed to be a stay-at home mom, and has her B.A. in English. They worship with the Lone Grove church of Christ in Lone Grove, OK.