Why do you think God gave his people the responsibility of providing for those in need rather than miraculously providing for them? Why does He not come down and remove all the obstacles trapping people in poverty? Maybe because of the blessing he knows will be received by those who journey alongside the most disadvantaged in our community? Maybe because when we interact with those struggling to overcome poverty, they can better understand God’s love for them? Maybe because a relationship with a person who does not live in your economic culture is the only way a person living in poverty can find transformation of their circumstances and their lives?
In biblical times, the Jewish people had very practical ways to help those in need. “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God”. Leviticus 19:9-10 Whenever crops were harvested, the people of Israel were commanded to leave some of the grain behind. This allowed the poor to glean – to pick up the left over grain.
Today, what might God be asking you to leave behind so the most disadvantaged in our community can survive and thrive? A portion of your paycheck? Your time to serve as a prayer partner, mentor or teacher with Begin Anew students? Your food by providing a meal for those attending Begin Anew classes? Your time and funds to plan a holiday event for the students and their children at Begin Anew?
Ask God to show you what to leave behind for those in need in the coming months. Then watch and see how your heart becomes more like our God’s as you left something behind.