Others Devotional, volume 7

Living Like Roland by Jim Elsenbroek

Scripture: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10

Do you ever feel like doing good never seems to help? I mean that bum is always on the same street corner asking for money even after you helped him out last week. That person in the neighborhood you pray for has not stopped swearing at your other neighbor. That friend you always have to help with homework never says thanks. Don’t give up!

Roland Buetyn did good to others and never gave up. I learned a lot about serving others from him. Roland and I worked at a non-profit in Denver, whose mission statement was to keep poor, handicap and elderly people in their homes. Roland was my boss and in charge of volunteers, scheduling the work and doing a lot of the work himself. We did a lot of handyman work for those groups. Roland always approached the work as a servant and usually did much more. One time a poor family was getting kicked out of their house on Christmas Day. Roland showed up to move them. On Christmas Day!

There was the time when all the mayor and council people and TV stations came out to one of our bigger projects in the inner city. We were re-vitalizing a neighborhood and had a lot of volunteers doing painting, yard clean up, concrete work, etc. The mayor was about to talk to the cameras and wondered where Roland was. I found him behind a house, painting a section of the house no camera would ever see. I told him the mayor was about to speak, and he just shrugged. “This is more important.” I picked up a paint brush and helped him finish.

For over ten years, Roland spent almost every lunch time with his wife of which most of the time, she didn’t remember him. She had Alzheimer’s disease, and he would feed her. But he almost never missed a lunch. He always strived to do good to others in every aspect of his life. Roland was a saint on earth.

I don’t think Roland had to spend a lot of time thinking about doing good to others; it came naturally after a life of service to others. If we want to be more like Jesus we need to become a servant like Him . . . and like Roland. The more we serve others, the more natural it will come, and “at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Last time I checked, Roland’s wife had died, and he was traveling, He said now that she was in heaven, he could see and work for a lot more people. He works for a church disaster relief agency which travels all over the country helping people rebuild after natural disasters. Don’t give up!


Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for this day. Help us to good to those around us. Help us not to give up. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author: Mr. E. taught Social Studies at CVC High School for 9 years before he saw the light and made the switch to CVC Middle School where he has been for the past 12 years. His wife is Mrs. Elsenbroek, who teaches Art for grades K-8. His son Sebastian is a sophomore at Point Loma Nazarene University, and his daughter Sadie is a junior at CVCHS and an awesome middle blocker.

Originally published on October 21, 2016.

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