Have you ever thought: I really don’t feel up to listening to that person’s problems. Am I selfish? My first inclination would have been to say no, definitely not. It’s all right to have time for ourselves now and then, when into my mind came the Hero – yes I’m talking about Jesus.
Jesus’ relative, John the Baptist, had recently been beheaded. Jesus went off to a remote place. No doubt He wanted time to grieve, but crowds followed Him. Seeing His disciples, there must have been the temptation to say: “Send them away. I need to be alone”, but no, Jesus had compassion on them. He healed their sick. When it grew late, the disciples wondered about food, and so followed the feeding of five thousand men, plus women and children.
So, should we be like Jesus – always ready to give, even when we’re hurting ourselves? I thought a bit more about Jesus, and I realised He never gave out until He’d first received from His Father. Before appointing the twelve apostles, He prayed all night (Luke 6:12-13). Before walking on water, He prayed by Himself on a mountain (Matthew 14:23-25).
I want to include this quote from a friend, because it’s been in my head all day. “Praising God will seriously damage your problems!” True, and it’s also true that when you have other people’s problems and your own to think about, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed. When you do, you need to take that time to stop and pray and let God strengthen you. Nothing selfish about that! And, if you also decide to give Him praise right in the middle of your circumstances, even better!