When I was 11 years old, my younger brother was killed in an accident. In the ensuing days people tried to comfort our family in the best way they knew how. You know how it is. You feel the need to comfort a grieving person so you say something like, "He’s in a better place," or "God needed him in heaven," or "Now he’s an angel," or "God knows what is best." You’re really trying to do good but, at least in my case, such caring created in me an extreme need to get away from people and be alone.
We try to do a lot of God’s work for Him. It’s not that we think we can do it better than God can. It’s just that we sometimes think we need to do it for Him. The problem is that we can’t do it as well as God does and we often, unknowingly and without purposing to do so, botch the job. We endeavor to do the job of the God of all comfort and we end up making the person we’re trying to comfort more uncomfortable.
There are other ways we try to do God’s work for Him:
We try to teach people evangelism methods when the Bible tells us "the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what to say."
We try to give guidance to people when the Bible tells us, "he will lead you and guide you."
We try to get people to change when the Bible tells us, "We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
We try to get people to be more loving when the Bible tells us, "Ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."
We try to empower people when the Bible tells us, "God has given us the spirit of power."
We try to get people to live right when the Bible tells us, "through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience."
We try to convert people when the Bible tells us, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him."
We try to reprove people when the Bible tells us, "He will reprove the world of sin."
We try to enlighten people when the Bible tells us, "Lo, all these things worketh God often times with men. To bring back his soul from the pit, be to enlightened with the light of the living."
What we often end up doing is our work instead of the Lord’s work. God wants us to be available so that He can work in, with and through us. When we try to do God’s work, even with the best of intentions, we fail. God has to do the work. There are some things that only God can do. Sometimes He blesses us by doing His work through us. But it has to be God doing the work through us, not us doing the work.
Sometimes God will do his work through us and we won’t be doing anything. Just being there with a grieving person and letting God do His work is often better than trying to say or do something to help. We’ll know what to say or do when God tells us. What He tells us to do is better than anything our need to say or do something tells us to do. When we speak or act out of our own needs we satisfy our needs and not the needs of another. God ministers to their needs. He will satisfy our need too. Our job is to let Him.
God Who satisfies all our needs,
Sometimes we see others’ needs and act out of our need to say or do something. Help us to wait on you and learn how you want to satisfy their need and our own. AMEN