If you turn on the news tonight you might find yourself overwhelmed. How will we solve the problems in India? France? Indonesia? What about the suffering family in another state? A steady dose of tragedy binging would make any sane person call in for a prescription of anti-depressants.

We know that God’s word encourages us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2. But where do we start and how do we bear such a burdensome load?

Christ helped us understand our obligations when he answered a tricky question about loving our neighbor. “Who then is our neighbor?” Christ shared the parable about a good Samaritan who took care of a wounded man that he encountered on the side of the road. The Samaritan took action of the suffering in front of him, regardless of the economic, ethnic, or political position of that person. He loved his neighbor well.

Now flash forward to today when we are inundated with suffering, and it’s too much to bear. Thanks to social media we are keenly aware of the suffering of the entire world. This has a negative effect. Instead of arousing compassion, emotionally overtaxed viewers become calloused due to the trauma in front of them, which can eventually lead to despair. The flooding of painful reality and images renders people hopeless. We are then unable to act, and  become guilt ridden because we are not able to solve the worlds’ problems.

The Lord has a better plan. God has placed you in this time and this place to impact the people right in front of you. Is there a single mom who needs her car fixed? A dad who needs a job? A widow who needs a grocery gift card? We can focus on our mission. And the good news is God places people to do his work everywhere, even where you aren’t.  Where has he placed you today?


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