In Giving We Receive

Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm…Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.[Eccl 4:11; Gal 6:2]

A Jewish man named Yankel shared this testimony about how he survived the Nazi concentration camp as a young teen-ager. He was herded onto a train being taken to Auschwitz, and the boxcar was left on the railway tracks overnight. When night fell it became deadly cold in the boxcar, but the prisoners were given no food or blankets. Sitting next to Yankel was an elderly Jewish man who was shivering from head to toe. Seeing the old man suffering, Yankel wrapped his arms around him, and rubbed his arms, legs, face and neck to warm him up.

Yankel was tired and freezing cold himself. His fingers were numb, but he didn’t stop rubbing heat into the old man’s body. All night long he tried to keep the old man warm this way. The hours went by until the morning finally came and the sun began to shine. As light began to filter into the boxcar, Yankel looked around and to his horror all he could see was frozen bodies. No one else in the boxcar had made it through the night. They had all died from the cold. The old man and Yankel were the only survivors.

This world can sometimes be a cold, dark and fearful place. Do you know the secret of survival? Reach out to someone in a harder place, in greater need than you. In trying to keep someone else warm, in giving them whatever little you can by way of help, support and encouragement, you will find God reaching down to you. You will find strength in your weakness, light in your darkness, life in the midst of death. For God says that it’s in giving that you receive – in dying that you find life…life in all its fullness!

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