“But before we will serve, we stop to ponder our personal and financial concerns— ‘What if God wants me to go over there? And what about my salary? What is the climate like there? Who will take care of me? A person must consider all these things.’ All that is an indication that we have reservations about serving God.” –Oswald Chambers
I am a complainer.
I admit it. I complain. I find things in life that aren’t going my way or aren’t according to my liking, and I give voice to my concern. Loudly. Emphatically. Logically.
But who will serve me?
These five little words basically contains the sentiment of a conversation I just finished with my Mom this evening. I have very good reason for this. I am tired. Thoroughly. I am weary. I am emotionally, physically, mentally spent. I feel spiritually stretched beyond my limits. It seems as if there is no one here for me, who doesn’t just want something from me, who doesn’t just want me for the sake of being poured into and benefiting from my wonderful person. I mean, doesn’t anyone get what I’m going through right now? Don’t they realize what a difficult week, month, year it’s been for me? Don’t they know how much “ministry” I’ve been doing? Why can I count on 3 fingers (or so it seems) the people who “get me” and are seeking me out just to support me and not to exact something from me?
Who will serve me? Indeed.
I read an entry in Oswald Chambers today – oh Oswald. How the Spirit does love to convict, challenge, correct, and chasten me through your writings! Anyhow, this entry entitled “The Destitution of Service” hit me square in the chin, as my phone barely cooled from being pressed against my ear and cheek from my call just moments before. Yes, I am dry. Yes, I am utterly tired. Yes, all I want to do is hide until something called “recovery” comes near. I say I want to drink from the Living Waters, to overflow again, but… Could it be that the reason I’m empty is because I’ve wandered from the Source yet again?
It’s a luxury one can’t afford when traversing the arid, sprawling expanse of challenge, change, and growth.
It’s funny how I’m looking to, expecting so many other things to satisfy. To solitude. To television. To takeout. To naps. To skipping chores. To weeks without plans. To the mysterious cadre of people who really “understand” me. And yes, there’s some practicality, dare I say, even wisdom to these things, but there’s also something I fear is strangely missing from all of this…
When am I going to come to the Fountain?
An indictment against my own soul, I find the fingers I’ve been pointing to decry the selfishness of others are now pointing straight at me.
I keep saying I need to soak in Him… Am I?
I keep planning to read more of His Word… Have I?
I keep wanting to go on long walks with Him… Will I?
When will I simply come to Jesus so that I might find His gentle and humble heart bestowing rest on this tired, weary, introverted soul? Is it not Isaiah who says that they that “wait on the Lord will renew their strength,” mounting up with “wings as eagles,” not fainting, and so forth? And is it not true that by seeking His kingdom first, putting His desires and purposes before our own, looking not only to our own interests but also that of others, we will find life and all we need abundantly provided by our Sovereign King?
I don’t like posts like this. I don’t like to see my faltering humanity documented by the glow of a computer screen. It bruises my ego. But there was something of this realization tonight that was like a small flame lit in a very dark room, truth that brought conviction rather than condemnation, that led me closer to Jesus with a heart that is growing in thanks… So, humbled again, I wonder if the real question I need engage is not the one inside that is shouting loudest but is one Jesus quietly asks through His unselfish service and unfailing provision for me:
“Who will serve Me?”
Thwack. The loving arrow of correction hits its mark with such precision.
I will, Lord. Forgive me for losing sight of You by focusing on me. I know it’s not that my desire to recharge is bad, but it’s where my heart has taken a selfish turn…that is what, I confess, has led me astray. I am dry, yes, but You say You’ll fill my cup to overflowing. I am weary, but You say You are my Shepherd Who leads me by quiet streams to rest in green pastures. I am spent, but You are the One Who obediently poured out Yourself to save us all…and You keep pouring. Oh Lord, teach me how serving You, seeking You, loving You first means I never have to run empty again. Amen.