Do Unto Others

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

Among the many teachings of Jesus, he said,

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

We often think of that verse in terms of problems we’re having or difficult decisions we must make, but in the closing verse of that section, Jesus gives what we have come to call “the golden rule.”

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

That can apply to those things you refrain from doing , those impulsive negative reactions, but it can also apply to those things you determine to do, those positive actions.

I thought you would enjoy an amusing story I found in my archive of materials to illustrate this point—author unknown.

Sammy, a third grader is sitting at his desk at school, when suddenly, there is a puddle between his feet and also, the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop. How did this possibly happen? It’s never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out, he’ll never hear the end of it. 

Sammy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays, “Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now, I’m dead meat.”

He looks up from his prayer, and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl, filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and unbelievably dumps the bowl of water in Sammy’s lap. Sammy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.”


Now, instead of being the object of ridicule, Sammy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes downstairs to get him some gym shorts. Meanwhile, the children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk.

The sympathy is wonderful, but the the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. “You’ve done enough, you klutz!”

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, Sammy whispers to Susie, “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Susie whispers back, “I wet my pants one time, too.” 

May I suggest that you stretch your mind to think of even one person this week who has a need but is too embarrassed to ask. They may be alone or lonely during this hunker-down season. You may be one of those yourself, but I challenge you to find another. What you “do unto others” may be a phone call, a thinking-of-you card, delivering flowers out of your garden, an outdoor visit (6 feet apart, of course) or whatever you can imagine. Ask, seek, knock and he will give you that person. I’ll start praying, too.

~ Joyce ~


His Rod and Staff

Searching His Word, Seeking His Heart

We continue with thoughts from the 23rd Psalm. (Restore My Soul) Just like David the shepherd, our good shepherd leads us in the right path, the path that guides us into right living. 

But like sheep, we are prone to go astray and have to be set back on the right path.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

When we’re obedient enough to follow His leading, we’re able to serve and bring honor to God “for His name’s sake.”

At times, shepherds have to lead the sheep through narrow passage ways, walking one or two abreast lest they fall off the path to their death. The shepherd must use his staff to guide them into a line. 

By the same token, when the sheep are in a wide grazing area, the shepherd uses his staff to draw in a sheep who is headed toward bramble bushes or a ravine. If a sheep falls into a ravine, the shepherd turns his staff upside down to use the crook end around the sheep’s belly and pull him up out of the ravine to safety.

The sheep can also rest assured that if wild animals try to invade, the shepherd will protect them by using the rod end of his staff to fight off offenders.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

I read one shepherd’s account of how poisonous weeds grew up in certain areas. He would get up early in the morning to go across the pasture and pull up the poisonous weeds, laying them up on a rock to dry, out of the way of the sheep. Later, as the sheep roused from their sleep, they could graze in the very presence of these deadly weeds—unharmed.

You prepare a way for me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23 :5

How thorough and lovingly a shepherd cares for his sheep, just like our good shepherd cares for us.

This week has been trying for me with mother in the hospital for the fourth time in two and a half years. She went from laughing and talking to sleeping day and night, eating only small bits of food with her eyes closed as I fed her. She could barely get a word or two out.

Again, I went through the grueling decision of where to place her for rehab. I cried out to God to help me trust Him to guide just as the shepherd guides his sheep. One place on my list was the best one in town, but hard to find an opening. The next day He opened a bed at this facility. Praise His name! If she should need to go into long term care, she can stay there in the same room. I’m so relieved.

~ Joyce ~