Caring for Those who Journey with Us | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2015

Caring for Those who Journey with Us

By Sara Palm

There have been several times in my life when I have needed to be cared for by others. When I was an infant I relied on the adults around me to care for my needs. As a middle schooler I pushed my mom away with sarcastic comments and backtalk, but still needed to know she was close. Throughout high school and college I relied on my close friends in youth group for guidance. Now, in my seminary program, I have a close covenant group filled with people who help me through some of my darkest times in life.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”. - Jeremiah 29:11

We are all on a journey. Some of us have had a harder road than others, but we all have our struggles and setbacks along the way. We travel through this world knowing that our Creator made us for a purpose, and that is an empowering notion. A passage from Jeremiah puts it perfectly.

This verse can be encouraging to us, especially during our adolescent and young adult years, when we feel lost in search of our vocations and callings from God. This sounds great! God has a plan for me, wants to keep me safe. But this verse isn’t just for us; God also has a plan for those who journey with us. Because of this, we are called to journey with others whom God has a plan for, nurturing and caring for them. I often wonder what the world would look like if we took that to heart, this notion that we are part of God’s promise to those around us. What if we are part of their care?

We are created for community, and community involves caring for each other, not just expecting others to care for us. So what would it look like if we focused on the care of those who are on this journey with us? Would we eat different food, so others would have enough? Would we shop secondhand, so others could have clothes? Would we walk though fearful times with our brothers and sisters instead of shying away because we are too scared of getting caught up in other people’s problems? Maybe it’s time to start getting caught up, as we have a God who chose to send his son to be caught up in the problems of being human.

Questions for Reflection and Study: Can you see places in your life where you are part of God’s plan for someone else? Is there someone you have been too scared to be involved with because their life is too complicated? How could God be calling you to be a part of their journey?

See more devotions from Sara and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself, at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.