Make Me A Servant
This is my song today... but this was not my song yesterday. No, for much of the day, yesterdays song had different lyrics. The song yesterday was a pitiful song... not a "why me?" song, but a grumbly song. A murmur- murmur song. I was in the middle of a test and I didnt even know it. Maybe you have experienced this at times, too. The wonderful thing about the testings of God are that He is always intimately involved and He is always providing the grace to obey... I have come to see that in addition to the grace He gives to obey, He has provided the advance preparation for the test...whether we know it or not.
Now, you might think this preparation that I am going to tell you about was not really preparation for this test at all... O, but it was.
Last week I felt prompted to finally clean out and totally organize my sewing / craft and school drawers and shelves. I had procrastinated and then decided to do a little bit here and a little bit there and then perhaps by the end of the week I would be done. As I began to clean, it became apparent to me that I was not only going to have to complete the job that day, but if I was to do anything else necessary, then I would surely need to be quick and methodically. I had a good plan... I had a good purpose... and I had the necessary tools and help to get the job done. The children were all busy at different tasks and school work and I set out with my plan.
Soon I discovered that I was guilty of something I now regret. You know what it was? Hoarding. Yep, hoarding. Not wanting to waste this or that... not wanting to say no to more craft supplies, saving things and not wanting to use this or that... not wanting this or that thing to get broken or used up. Hoarding for a good cause. You know the problem with this mentality is that so often in the end, the items are useless by the time they are actually considered and used and they then have to be thrown out. I didnt think I had a problem with this at all... in fact, I would have told you that that is the least of my faults... Id be pleased to give away anything to anybody... use up anything... whatever. But all this saving for "someday..." Well, "someday" came! And much of the stuff went straight from the drawers into the give away box or the trash barrel. You see, some of the paint had been saved so long that it was dried... and some of the ribbons and tapes that I had been given (by another "saver") were also in bad shape. Then for the sorting and organizing... and what a job it was! I was sorry that I hadnt been a better steward of what I have been given, I confessed it to the LORD and implemented plans and ways to improve how things are handled and how they will be used. Ill share with you in the "Good Things & Recipes" what we did and some ideas that might help you, too.
On Sunday night our pastor was teaching from the book of John, chapter 13. His rich message from the Word lingered in my mind through the night and yesterday morning. The LORD is always working...we must be listening....
"Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded." John 13. 3-5.
Well, yesterday I was scurrying around trying to get all the homekeeping things completed and was preparing things to bring to the Soup Kitchen... when everything started bunching up... time was of the essence and the children were acting squirrelly and it seemed that no one was staying on task---even me. Well. Then I began to think of all the reasons I didnt want to make the dessert, or leave the children here and go and buy the corn and then go help prepare the food and serve the people and clean up after them and on and on.
I even began to think of all the comments that might be made there by the people we would serve, how grouchy some of the people might be there, sometimes... how demanding some of the folks are sometimes... how I was tired... You see? Murmuring. I was in the middle of a test and I didnt know it at the time. Isnt God so merciful!?!?
What did all this have to do with my "test?"
It was time to leave...and so, after apologizing to my children, thanking them for helping me shuck the corn, I was on my way, I began to see that the LORD had been working with me and in me... teaching me deep lessons about being merciful... not hoarding... serving others... washing feet... There I was in the midst of this preparation... the craft stuff... then the pastors message... then the corn... but what I didnt know at the time was that there would be two more "opportunities" and then the final test.
I was to bring sunflowers for the table decorations... but in my haste, I had forgotten them. After setting up several things, I felt the LORD tugging---but the time was short and they were only flowers and they werent essential... Okay, so I drove home to get the sunflowers. I phoned ahead to tell the children and they offered to help... at that moment I saw that a train was going to be passing through... so I would have opportunity to sit and wait for it. I dont know if it was audible or not... but I surely heard the LORD say "Lovest thou Me?" I said, "Yes, Lord Jesus---Ill go give them my flowers..."
My children were so helpful and so loving... I was so glad to see them already out in the field cutting cutting the flowers. I ran out and cut some also and quickly drove back to the soup kitchen...
When I arrived, there was some discussion about the need for chocolate syrup...for the coffee... the lattes that are served and have come to be anticipated each week. All the people were lined up waiting to be served and it was then that I knew the LORD was prompting in me... "psst: you have chocolate syrup... in fact, you have lots of syrup to share..." So, then... I quickly ran to my van to drive home once again... It was 4:15... the worst time of day to drive in our little town.
Ironically, you guessed it... another train(!) and I sat waiting for it to pass and again, I dont know if it was audible or not... but I surely heard the LORD say, "Lovest thou Me?" I said, through tears, "Yes, Lord Jesus---Ill get the chocolate---and Ill bring extra." Ohmygoodness... it was surely a whirlwind trip back to the soup kitchen... by this time it was exactly time to serve. Remarkably, some in the group were very demanding... they seemed to be exceptionally hard to please. It seemed as though all the plates we were serving had too much of this or too little of that. Many in the group were difficult to relate to...some, I couldnt understand, but all needed what we had... more than that, they needed the personal gift of the love of the Savior.
As an aside, the LORD demonstrated His love for me in a very tender way, in that, my husband stopped in to help for a little bit. He knew of my situation and could read my eyes.
There came a man to the counter who mentioned that he sure loved corn, but because of his teeth, he couldnt eat it. "Pssst... cut it for him... lovest thou Me?" Then with tears in my eyes, I knew... and I said in my heart, "Yes, Lord Jesus---Ill do whatever you want." From that moment on... I knew that whatever He showed me to do.... that, I would do.
When we came home... our daughter led us in to the table where we were served a delicious and lovely dinner she had prepared. Tears, again. God is so merciful.
We all have situations in our lives where the "unlovely" or "unlovable" need what we have. No, its not the corn... its not the flowers... its not the chocolate... they need the Savior. They need Jesus.
"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed and in the midst of a testing of your faith. Maybe you needed someone to walk along with you today...Welcome Home.
pamela spurling ~ The Welcome Home 2000