August 12 – This One

Each one repaired the section immediately across from his own house. (Nehemiah 3:28)

Read: Nehemiah 3:15-5:13, 1 Corinthians 7:25-40, Psalm 32:1-11, Proverbs 21:5-7

Relate: I’ve heard the story many times and with many variations and have no idea if it is true or not. That doesn’t matter, it is still a good story and its truth goes well beyond its veracity.

There was a gentleman who was walking down the beach early one morning who noticed an elderly gentleman ahead who seemed to be throwing things in the water. As he got closer he realized that it was starfish that this older man was picking up off the sand and tossing back into the water. As he approached, the gentleman asked this older man, “Excuse me, sir, what are you doing?” The old man replied, “I’m helping the starfish.” The gentleman looked ahead down the beach and saw that hundreds, thousands of starfish had been beached on the shore by the tide. He said, “Sir, you cannot possibly help all of them.” The old man just grunted as he picked up another starfish. He looked at it for a moment then looked at the gentleman and said, “No, but I can help this one.” He then tossed it into the water and continued on his way.

Roughly 300,000 minors are currently being exploited for prostitution in the US. About 800,000 slaves are trafficked across international borders each year. 1 million children each year are added to the number of slaves globally which is estimated to total about 27 million.

About 200 children in the US are born with HIV each year. In 2010, 1.8 million people died of AIDS. Each year roughly 2.5 million more people contract HIV. About 18 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Roughly 34 million people are currently living with HIV. Of those about 9.5 million people are in critical need of AIDS drugs and only 40% will receive it.

Roughly 500,000 children in the US are homeless. About 5 million childhood deaths are related to poor nutrition. An additional 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases and about 780 million people do not have access to clean water. 870 million people are chronically undernourished. 2.4 billion people are desperately trying to survive on less than $2 USD a day.

There are between three hundred and five hundred thousand refugees living in my city. Most of them are from Syria and are among the 3 million plus who live here in Turkey. There are also about five million more living in other countries (mostly Lebanon and Jordan) and also about six million internally displaced refugees who have been forced to flee their homes but have not left the borders of Syria.

React: No matter what the cause, no matter how I look at it, the need is staggering. There is a wall that needs to go up against the ever-rising flood of injustice, disease, and extreme poverty. There is a task that needs to be accomplished but even if I were to invest every minute and every dollar that I have from now until the day I die it will not be enough. The task is too large. The need is too great. I cannot help everybody. But I can help the girls in the picture. They are some of the ones God has placed in my section of the wall. Who are yours?


Dear God,
There is so much I wish to do. There are so many needs that are so great. There is a task that is so huge that absolutely must be met. Without You it is impossible. I know that. Help me to realize that without me it is impossible as well. You have called each of us to take care of our part. I cannot build the wall, but I can build the portion near my house. As You raise
 up others who will do what they can, help me to do what I can. Help me to help this one… and then this one… and then this one…

16 thoughts on “August 12 – This One

  1. Amen! We all have lives assigned to us. Specific people God will use us to minister to. I can help this one! I love it. Your blog is wonderful–keep glorifying our great God through this blog. Thanks for your support. God bless!

  2. Romans 15:1-2 “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”

    Thank you BJ — for your presence, your purpose and your pure potential shining every so brightly in the kingdom that we all share.

  3. Bj: I love the story of the starfish and the older gentleman’s wisdom. I read in Nehemiah 10:39 this verse…”We will not neglect the house of our God.” I join in your prayer, may we reach out to those within our scope…one at a time…

  4. Making a difference in the trafficking of children requires an overall change in attitudes toward children. We have to start recognizing them as having value equal to adults. We also, need to establish healthy boundaries around sex. Our culture is in a state of sexual insanity right now and I’m using the term insanity in the legal sense of not being able to tell right from wrong. some laws need to be changed and others better enforced but more than that our thinking must change and we can make a difference by being mindful to maintain healthy standards for ourselves and treat children with the respect they deserve.

  5. We live in a veritable sea of need. You are right it is too great for us to solve but we are not called to solve it we are called to witness about the One who is the Only Solution. What men do with the Solution is up to them but our message is true no matter what they do with it. “Jesus can change your life if you just let Him in.”

  6. I’ve talked about the overwhelming needs in the world often on my blog, and it always comes to the same conclusion you share – we might not be able to save them all (not alone), but we can make a difference one at a time. If we all gathered together and took that attitude – one at a time – think how that could really change things.

  7. You hit the nail on the head. We each have a sphere of influence, our little world around us. It’s up to us to make a difference in that sphere. We must fill our world with smiles, as I like to say. It’s so much more than a smile on a face – it’s being obedient to the task God places before you, being His hands and feet.

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