The wind is whipping past his face. He's dropping like a rock. And then, at 5000 feet, lo and behold, another man goes shooting up past him in the opposite direction. In desperation, the man with the chute looks up and yells, "Hey! Do you know anything about parachutes?!"
The guy flying up looks down as he passes and yells, "No. Do you know anything about gas stoves?!"*
The reason I share this little story is because it reminds us that everyone has some burden in life to bear. No one, no matter his or her station in life, is without a problem or two. And in truth, many people have multiple problems, or even multiple sets of problems.
We would do well to remember this as we go forth into the world today. Every individual we encounter is a person with some sense of need, some problem with which he or she is wrestling. And because of this, every person we encounter provides us an opportunity to minister in Jesus’ name. I hope we are faithful to respond as we should.
Remember what Jesus Himself said (Matthew25: 31-46):
31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”