A Question of Opportunity

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
~ 2 Samuel 9:1

Have you ever read a familiar passage and suddenly had new insight? The passage may be simple, but then God begins to show how incredible it is. That is what happened to me this week as I read this question. At first glance, David’s question seems so simple to understand. In fact, it is simple. However this question reveals many important ideas. It is just full of meaning. I want to point out two revelations that have stuck with me this week from David’s question of opportunity. David intentionally sought out opportunities to demonstrate his love for others in concrete, tangible ways. Let’s break this thought down.

The first revelation is that we must seek the opportunity to show kindness to others. Often we walk though life completely oblivious to the opportunities that God presents us. We have formed a routine and pray that God would put someone in our path to demonstrate his love to. David was no passive bystander waiting for Mephibosheth (Johnathan’s son and recipient of David’s intentional act of kindness) to come by. He didn’t see Mephibosheth at a table reading a newspaper while he was getting a coffee at the coffee house or bump into him at the grocery store and think, “Gee, I made a promise to his father, and maybe I should act on it.” No, he intentionally began asking around, “Does anybody know where I can find someone of Saul’s family?”

We too must intentionally seek out opportunities to demonstrate loving kindness to our Father’s children. If we have accepted Christ, then we have accepted the ministry of reconciliation to bring others into relationship with their heavenly father (2 Corinthians 5:14-18). It’s time to be intentional with our lives. It’s time to change our routine and make more encounters possible. Perhaps its time to leave ten minutes earlier for work. That way instead of going through the drive-through and only interacting with the person serving us our morning breakfast or coffee, we can intentionally “bump into” more people as we stand together in line. Perhaps we strike up a conversation with the person behind us in the grocery store, rather than perusing the candy that we don’t need or the magazine rack with ridiculous claims to alien invasions. What opportunities will arise when you intentionally, strategically vary your routine?

Secondly, the verse talks of the opportunity of demonstrating kindness. David is literally saying, “I want to demonstrate my care and concern for a member of a Saul’s family in a concrete, visibly understandable way.” I want him or her to know the goodwill or love that I have in my heart. I want them to not only hear my words, but also to feel it in a tangible way. In short, I want them to experience the love and concern I have for them through my actions, behavior and example. God is looking for people who will say, “I don’t just want to hear your story. I want to pray with you and do what I can to help.”

Sometimes we may be only able to pray, but maybe we can do more. I knew a college student once who saw a homeless man on the street asking for food. He had no money, but he had some cookies that his mom gave him to take back to college. So, he gave the man his cookies and expressed Christ’s love. The challenge for us is to do what we are able, when we are able. God will honor that. In so doing we will become a city on a hill, light to the world, salt to the earth and give all glory and power to God. How can you demonstrate or manifest God’s love and concern for the world around you today in a concrete, substantial way?