A Cup of Cold Water
“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
Sometimes the simplest of things makes all the difference in the world to the loving care of another human being. Taking care of loved ones is what family members should do, but to take care of others in simple tasks, even that does not go unnoticed by our Lord.
Sharing a cup of cold water on a hot day is the very least we can do for someone; to do it in the name of Jesus is being propelled by the Spirit to offer that which is a basic need, albeit voluntarily to another. It is the art of loving kindness shown to one who cannot take care of themselves. We all have our opportunities to help someone, sometimes daily, oftentimes when no one is looking. What we do with our opportunities to aid someone else in the name of our Lord is viewed in heaven and recorded.
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:35-36, NLT).
How these things are recorded, I do not know. But, Jesus makes it clear, the opportunities that we have every day of our lives are more than just opportunities, they are tests of our belonging to and following the Spirit of our Lord. I do not believe that all opportunities are meant to be tests, for they are in the natural course of life, providing the basic of needs. But, they become tests in our hearts when we hesitate to help. When we hesitate, we take a second thought about the opportunity and in those moments of hesitation, we miss the blessing of the Lord upon someone else. In the second thought, the proud will say to themselves, ‘I’ll be rewarded for this’ and that is true, but most likely, if that is their thinking, the reward will only be in their minds. This Christ-led principle is not for show, so that other people can see, or perceive, how wonderful you think you are. Do not let your right hand know what the left is doing. Be careful that your motivation to help is not simply to earn a reward, or to reward yourself with a note of personal significance.
Jesus’ words are profound and yet very simple…to be able to give a basic necessity to a person that is completely unable to return the favor is to be in His nature because He died for the sin of the world and that is something that none of us could do for ourselves.