As missionaries on the road, we are frequently in other peoples homes and are constantly being blessed by the hospitality of other believers. Usually these are people whom we’ve just met, and they often spoil us by serving us choice cuts of steak and secret family recipes. They bend over backwards to give us their very best, and we are grateful for their generous kindness.
We rejoice to see how the Lord uses their willing obedience and giftedness to contribute to our material needs through hospitality (Rom. 12:13). Without their willingness to host us, financially our support raising would be impossible.
Last night we experienced a different kind of generous hospitality. We weren’t on the road so this hospitality didn’t meet a pressing material need, but it ministered to a different kind of need. Friends of ours from college invited us over for dinner and conversation. The food was good but nothing spectacular, just your average baked chicken, salad, and brownies. Their two young boys were cute, but they behaved as average two and four year-olds do, and yes, parental intervention was necessary throughout the evening.
Both parents looked more than a bit tired, and the wife apologized for her yawning. Not extending themselves by inviting us over, probably would have made their week much easier, but their decision to put us ahead of their own needs, allowed this young couple to minister to us in a very special way.
A few months ago, they lost their third child to a late miscarriage, and although not stated, their invitation was obviously motivated by a desire to comfort us with the same comfort that God had extended and continues to extend to them (2 Cor. 1:4). And they did. As we talked, we all shared how the Lord had ministered to us as we grieved the loss of our children. How comforting it was to remind each other of biblical truths.
So thank you Alan and Michelle. Thank you for letting God use you in spite of a draining week. And thank you for letting Him use you to be an example to us of dying- to- self and of serving others. Thank you for demonstrating that true hospitality is about much more than entertaining and meeting material needs. The Lord used you to bless us greatly. We can’t thank you enough, and we rejoice in the knowledge that the Lord will reward you. “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints as you still do” (Heb. 6:10).