As the world watched, following a turbulent 18-day ordeal, the 12 Thai boys and their assistant coach have been safely rescued.
The boys and their coach, members of the Wild Boars soccer team, had been exploring the Tham Luang caves in Thailand. Suddenly rising waters trapped them. And for 9 days they were stranded without any food before rescuers located them.
Their rescue required the efforts of special scuba divers, aided by local volunteers, doctors and other professionals all working together to save their lives.
While all of the effort, energy, and expense of this heroic effort has played out on a world-wide stage, I wonder how many other acts of goodness, kindness, and relief have been extended to struggling people trapped by some problem, circumstance or situation beyond their control?
Most good deeds are not nationally or internationally known. But are done quietly, privately and individually on a much smaller scale. But they are no less appreciated by the recipient, that benefitted one person, one family, or one small community.
Among his various admonitions to Titus the apostle Paul wrote, “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”
Think about the power and importance of this short, simple verse.
Our people. The Bible uses various words and terms of endearment referring to Christians. Saints. Disciples. Brethren. And Beloved. But “our people” is unique.
We speak of “our people” referring to family, a community, nationality or state. This text is speaking of God’s people. The family of Believers. The community belonging to Christ. God’s holy nation.
We should feel a kinship to “our people.” A special relationship. A bond the binds us together spiritually. Sadly, some folks are highly critical of “our people” even within the family. Stop and think. “Our people” are God’s people. Let’s love them. Appreciate them. And help them.
Good works. We are to be about doing good works. The NASU renders this “good deeds.” Three times in Titus, the apostle encourages them to continue doing good deeds for others. Good works glorify God. Demonstrate our discipleship. And testify to an unbelieving world.
Everyone can engage in good deeds as we have opportunity. The rich. The poor. The young. The old. Singles. Married. Or widows. It doesn’t necessarily require a special talent to do a good deed. Maybe it is simply a kind word. A helping hand. Mowing a yard. An encouraging note. A meal. A few dollars. A gift book. Or babysitting a young mother’s children.
Urgent Needs. Some needs demand immediate attention. They are compelling. Critical. And crucial. Like the soccer team trapped in the cave, some needs are pressing and cry for urgent help.
People whose hearts are broken. The sick, suffering and those mourning need our care. The spiritually wayward. The troubled teen. The betrayed wife. The forsaken husband. The abused child. The dying friend. The questioning seeker of Truth. The weak brother. The fragile sister. These ought to command our assistance.
Fruitful. Doing good deeds is one way in which we bear fruit for the Lord. Since the “fruit of the Spirit” involves qualities such as love, kindness, and goodness, does it make sense that these traits are demonstrated in our good works? When we do good to our fellow man, we produce spiritual fruit for the Lord. When we fail to do good deeds we are unfruitful.
In the words of John Wesley, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman