Even A Cup of Cold Water

The principle taught by Jesus in Matthew 10:42 is embraced and lived out by many of us on a weekly basis. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” I have no doubt that God gives each of us opportunities to bless others, and for many of us the ‘cold water’ principle is simply a lifestyle.

There are countless ways we can bless others, and even the simplest act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life. The personal sacrifice made can cost a lot or a little. Have you ever…
  • Shared a granola bar or bottled water with someone seeking help from a street corner?
  • Paid the bill for the car in line behind you at the fast-food restaurant?
  • Offered the last piece of your ‘favorite holiday dessert’ to your eccentric, but lovable, Aunt Jo?
  • Filled up the gas tank for someone passing through in need of a helping hand?
  • Given up a ‘good seat’ for someone else?

My most recent encounter of blessing someone - unknowingly - happened on a Sunday morning smack dab in the middle of the sermon! While my husband was preaching he got a tickle in his throat. It was soon apparent that the problem was not going to go away on its own. So, I got up out of my seat, walked down the aisle and out of the sanctuary. I found a cough drop and grabbed a cup of water from the drinking fountain. Yep, I literally brought my pastor - one of God’s ‘little ones’ - a cup of cold water!

The cost to me was minimal. The embarrassment of having to get up and down during the worship service was bearable (even though I still have to fight self-consciousness). And, I didn’t even trip or spill the water on my way up to the platform to hand the cup off. This simple act took place in a matter of minutes, and the message continued on without a bit of interruption. Mission accomplished! …and the tickle was soon gone!

After the worship hour, a gentleman stopped me in the hallway and thanked me for being so kind as to bring my husband a cup of water. I was caught off guard by his comment and just said ‘Thank you.’ This thought-provoking moment made me stop in my tracks. Why was he so genuinely touched by such a simple act of kindness? It didn’t take long for me to figure out what was probably behind his intrigue and appreciation.

I love his wife dearly, but I truly believe she would respond to his request for water with a comment similar to this, “You have two feet, don’t you? Get it yourself.” (Yep, that's right. I gotta love my church family!)

In witnessing this small act of kindness between husband and wife, I believe God touched this man’s heart. Regretfully, I was so caught off guard by his words of affirmation that I missed an opportunity to tell him what was really going on in my heart and mind. Yes, my husband needed something to soothe his cough. Yes, I was able to get it for him as either a kind parishioner or as a loving wife – you take your pick!

So, what truly motivated my actions?

The Gospel Message

Yep! It’s that simple. After all, if the pastor can’t preach clearly, the message will likely be less effective. A small disruption can easily turn into a huge distraction for both the pastor and the church body. In all reality, this 'cup of cold water' wasn’t just an act of kindness. It was an act of worship.

Even though I missed an opportunity to share ‘why I did what I did’ on that particular Sunday morning, God still used the moment to touch someone’s life. He may never know my true motivation, but he was blessed and encouraged by my witness. For that, I am humbled and thankful!

The challengeThe next time each of us reach for a cup of cold water "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) ...and then watch God work!



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