"She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy" (Proverbs 31:20).

I brought home more than our fourth child from the hospital when I gave birth that day. I also brought home a whole new set of anxieties about homeschooling and my ability to meet the demands of a family of six. Feeling weak and tired, I knew my energy supply was running low. I simply couldn't take care of a new baby, maintain a house, and homeschool, too.

Little did I know, God was already preparing a blessing that would help me with the extra work. A fellow homeschooling friend arrived the next day with a gift that was not only timely, but also so incredibly sacrificial that it made me cry. Even with her own responsibilities as a busy homeschooling mom, she came and delivered a delicious, home-cooked meal. Humbly she said, "I thought you could use a helping hand for a while. You don't have to worry about supper for the next two weeks. I'll be bringing them over every night about this time." Since I didn't have to prepare meals, I was able to use the little energy I had to homeschool at least half days as I slowly regained more strength.

The Bible tells of another man who was incredibly thankful for the helping hands of his friends. The lame man's friends in Luke 5:18-25 were not deterred by the crowds that surrounded Jesus. Because of their faith and willingness to go the extra mile, they tore a hole in a roof to lower their lame friend, who was lying on a stretcher, in front of Jesus. That day, the lame man found both healing and salvation because of his friends (vs. 24).

Do you know a homeschooling family who might need an extra hand? Maybe life has put them into a stressful situation that seems insurmountable. Since you homeschool, you know their needs best. Even if it's only a small thing, your helping hand might be the life-giving answer to help them through this difficult time. Why not go the extra mile and show them the love of Christ?

Lord, give me compassion to see the needs of other homeschooling families. Show me how to be a blessing and use my hands to minister to them however I can. In Jesus' name, Amen.