Some days–alright–MANY days…I feel served OUT.
But then I rest. He restores. And I get back up and serve again.
I find myself in a season of caring my children–and caring for many others in between. My heart longs to be in community–so to do so…I find myself often creating it. Inviting many over. And it is sweet and good.
I find myself wanting deep friendships. I hear a need…of a dear friend…so I offer. And I serve. The friendship deepens in the service. And it is sweet.
I used to have a photography business–but I stopped to pour into my children because the editing and order delivery took so much of my family time–yet I find myself now gifting more sessions than I ever took when in business each week. I hear whispers of BOUNDARIES…and taking care of myself…and saying NO–and how it’s okay to say NO or not offer–yet some times the offering hits my heart–and obedience comes before selfishness. I hear another boundaries whispering…I BROUGHT YOU HERE TO SERVE…AND YOU ASKED–TO BE MORE LIKE ME.
But I’m tired Lord. What about me? Do I get to rest?
I check my email. Another request of me. I want to set it aside. But I can’t. It lingers. So I serve some more. I find my heart getting frustrated–what about just wanting to email me to encourage instead of ask another service? What about the just wanting to invest BACK…you know I scratch your back then you scratch mine? What about MEEEEEE?!
“When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
And that’s enough.
There’s the refining.
When we ask to be more like Jesus–it comes at a cost. A sweet, sweet, refining cost.
There will be a whole lot of more serving than being served.
A whole lot more loving than being loved back.
But in the service–somethings beautiful happens. In the moving the boundaries aside and being overprotective of my heart, my time or even my family–He speaks to my heart. BECAUSE…I do not need them to love me back. I do not need them to serve me back. I just need HIM–and He promises to care for me. And would could be greater than trusting and waiting on His care alone?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
As I meditate on His Word He shows my heart ways He continues to care for me. Through a once stranger…my Mama Judy…who is now another mother to me. There may only be a handful or even just 1 or 2 angels like these that come to your mind–but trust the Lord’s provision–because even as I remember just this one–I’m overwhelmed with how He cares for me. Why this angel has knocked on my door for the last 7 years every season–is only His sweet love knowing what my heart needs. I can trust in His provision and care. He is enough.
So this week as we prepare to host or be hosted–serve…and pick up…and do laundry and whatever He calls us too–we can rest knowing He cares for us and serves us. He is enough.
We can rejoice in ever act of serving through our hands that THIS…this is what makes us more like Christ as we serve others.
We can stop asking, “When is it my turn?” Because He paid it all–for us.
We can be aware of “healthy boundaries” but also more aware of when the Holy Spirit says, “Set those aside. Just serve. And trust me.”
We can love bigger than we thought bigger out of energy we didn’t even know we had within us. And it won’t be our strength but HIS.
For Him I am so thankful. For His love and not giving up on me…that He still uses me–despite my having to work through some things until I finally get to the point of wanting…WANTING to offer…WANTING to serve…WANTING to act like one of His flock and serve without being served back. Then the JOY follows…and I’m thankful it isn’t about ME any more. It’s not about how much I can handle–but rather what beautiful things He does through us in our WEAKNESS. Where we are weak He is strong. This–I am so thankful for.
So I open my hands…and I say…Change me Lord. Make me more like YOU. I want to be here not be served–but to just serve…and to shine your glory. Forgive me Lord and sweet friends when I have been tired or not excited about serving…if that ever was present or obvious…please forgive me because I must have been serving in my own flesh. But I open my hands today to serve out of Your great big love…with excitement and joy and love. This is only your changing love and your sweet grace we can do this. Oh how great You are!! May we serve big and love out of your strength this Thanksgiving…Amen!