Serve. What does this word mean to you? When scanning goggle images for a picture, several examples popped up when asked to “search” for this word. A few were pictures of waiters serving, some indicated a volleyball or tennis serve, others displayed an image of serving your country, one even gave me a book title, Serving in Silence. Well, the Lord asked me to serve this week, and sadly no, not in either a volleyball game or tennis match – there’s a reason why I stick to just plain running 🙂 He’s asked me to serve him with my hands. He’s asked me to serve a friend. And up until this moment, he’s asked me to do this in a way that is just between Him and I, no one else knowing about it but this friend. It’s been an honor, it’s been a joy, it’s been a pleasure. All of the time? Sadly no.
During this time of serving this week, my thoughts have wandered. I’ve been serving inside, and my heart and my eyes have gravitated towards the sun beckoning me to be outside. My head gives me thoughts of the many other self-pleasing “things” I could be doing with my time. My desire for gratitude and a well-known pat-on-the-back were not to be given by several, but by one. I needed to make a choice. I could following my fleshly leading, or I could “fix my eyes on Jesus.”
1 Peter 4:11
If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
This thing of the “flesh” is such a strong pull at times. I’ve noticed it lately when it comes to running. With cool mornings, and very warm afternoons, my body has been forced to adjust depending on the time of day, and believe me, it lets you know when it it not happy. My physical body craves balance. If my internal temperature is too far off, too hot or too cold, it gives me warning signs. It was designed this way. It protects me from long-lasting effects and damage, though it can often mask itself, appear as if it’s functioning in a way, when in all actually it may be the opposite. For instance, my flesh was cold to the touch this morning, not a true indicator of what was occurring on the inside, I was roasting! Think of those cold winter days, picture yourself shoveling away, what tends to trickle down the side of your face? Yep, sweat. Our flesh is just that, a living, changing, and in all actuality, decaying, temporary matter. Can our desires be of similar nature? Do we crave that balance, comfort, ease in our life so strongly that it’s the filter we use in making decisions for our day?
This humble servant is guilty as charged. Lord, I thank you for the gracious opportunity to serve you this week, just as you came to serve me. Thank you for giving me eyes to see. Forgive me when I wanted to turn from you and satisfy my own selfish desires. Lord, I do know that it would have satisfied me but for a moment. Your soul-filling satisfaction lasts for a lifetime. May I continue to learn through your manger example. May I be reminded continually that it is not about me.