In the yarn circle, WIP is the acronym for a Work in Progress. In fact, the average number of WIP’s is always 3-4 projects waiting for completion. We buy yarn for no other purpose than to store it for future use. Due to the loss of employment and income, many “yarners” have reached a point where they never thought possible and have depleted their yarn stash. Inevitably someone feels courageous and reaches out to the other members of our group to post their dilemma, asking for yarn donations. That one post initiates a domino effect with a minimum of 100 to 200 responses, revealing many who are in the same predicament.
Members of the yarn community are aware that it is risky to ask for yarn donations. We do not share our yarn! When it rains, it pours, and the responses to the post for help can easily reach 500-600 answers. The typical responses are usually minimal, one to two words; “Wow!” or “That’s too bad.” There are many suggestions to find cheaper options for purchasing yarn, search the Marketplace for yarn sellers, use your coffee money, sell unwanted items, etc. But the #1 suggestion that most agreed with was from a veteran yarner. She recommended they use their WIPs that have been unfinished for months and FROG them. In this sense, “to FROG” means “to take out stitches.” Hence, the solution is to utilize the yarn that you already have.
Although this is a light-hearted story of desiring crafting materials, many individuals struggle financially and are unable to purchase essential items. During this pandemic, there is a great divide and separation of those who have and those who need help. Community churches and food banks are overwhelmed by the long lines of individuals without the basic needs of food, water, and toiletries. The reality is that most of us have an over-abundance of resources. But many have the “I” concept that consists of focusing on self. How did we reach this point?
When we love God, we live ‘With the Intent and Purpose” to share our resources. We do not ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Our intent and purpose of emulating Christ who lived to help others happens naturally and becomes our mission. Having values built on the “We” concept enables us to share our over-abundance and keeps us from adopting the unbeliever’s attitude of “every person for themselves.” A heart filled with the love of God is forever concerned with giving to those in need.
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there, the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21
In reading the Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John give us the life story of Jesus Christ and his compassion for others. Four individuals are in agreement that Jesus lived with the intent and purpose to alleviate the burdens of others. What has caused us to deviate and disregard Christ’s example? It is not our duty to share tips on how to become financially savvy or to advise others to sell their unneeded items, Jesus left the example and the mindset we must possess if we say we love God. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 3:17
The miraculous blessing of Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand is in Matthew 14:13-21. Even His disciples required a wake-up call because they also possessed the selfish spirit of the “I” concept. It is hard to imagine that the men called and anointed to help those in need, to heal the sick, and preach the plan of Salvation possessed hard-hearts. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Matthew 14:15
Jesus was fully aware of the self-centeredness that infiltrated His disciple’s hearts. His directive reminded them of their responsibility to provide. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat!” Matthew 14:16. But wait! Along with the big reveal of selfishness, the disciples also exposed their spiritual state of faithlessness, “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. Matthew 14:17
Many of us are in the same predicament, we have relied on our abilities for so long that we have forgotten who God is. We place limitations on ourselves and our Heavenly Father because self-reliance nurtures self-centeredness and destroys our faith in God. “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Matthew 6:24
Yes, Jesus’ primary purpose was to die for the redemption of humanity; even so, the Son of God feeding the 5,000 plus multitude sets the godly standard for using our financial resources. If we say, “But God, I only have…” then we are not living faithfully or obediently, and our values are in stark contrast with those found in the Word of God. “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:31-33
We must never forget that God blesses us with New Mercies and always gives us His Amazing Grace every day. Pray for guidance and direction to “Bless Somebody Else.” During this pandemic, reach out to your family and friends to find out if they need assistance. Then contact your community churches and non-profit organizations to donate financially or volunteer to assist with their Outreach programs. Help is desperately needed in all areas without the need to have person-to-person contact.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison, and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? …Matthew 25:34-40.
Our goal is to hear, “Well done!” A loving heart is always full of care and compassion for others. Lighten someone else’s burden by sharing your resources, and you can live every day “With Intent and Purpose.”
Bible Readings: Matthew 6, 14, and 25
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.