Serving. What makes it feel so hard? I want to find joy in serving. I want to serve only from a joyful and cheerful heart. I want to be always looking heavenward, rejoicing and always counting it an honor to serve.
I woke up one morning ready to have a change of heart. Taking my bible, I read and I prayed. I went outside and sat alone with God, casting on him all my cares. Drawing near, I looked upon his goodness and love and I was awed by his greatness, awed at his holy power and his intricate masterpiece of creation. And I thought: “What an honor! I am, somehow, serving the God who created all this. This is unimaginable! How is it that I can draw near to the Most HOLY, much less offer my humble service to him!”
My heart burst with joy, and with a little dance- that only God, a tree, and a couple of clouds saw- I ran to go to work, to serve the King above all kings. I unloaded the dishwasher. I made coffee, made breakfast, and did schoolwork. So far, all with a smile. I didn’t say anything too not-nice to my younger siblings. I made lunch, made breakfast, and did more schoolwork. I defrosted meat for dinner. I started processing apples and heaped bowls upon bowls into a giant oversized pot. I cooked, I stirred, and I processed even more apples.
Eventually, I started cooking dinner, and looked around. The dishes were piled high. “Apparently nobody did dishes today except me.” I thought. “And my mom.” The counters were a mess, covered with grime and more uncleaned dishes. Somebody spilled soup on the table and set a washrag by it, but didn’t wipe it up. “Am I the only one? Am I the only one who even tries to pick up after myself? Am I the only one?” I thought.
It reminds me now of a certain account in scripture of Elijah. Elijah says to the Lord “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your alters, and killed you prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” God replies by telling Elijah to return his way, gives him instructions, among which to appoint Elisha as prophet in his place, and then he tells him “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him”
At this particular moment, however, this passage did not come to mind. Overwhelmed by the state of the kitchen and how much I still had to do, I sat down in a chair, on the verge of tears. “Does nobody care?”, I kept thinking. Suddenly, the passage about Mary and Martha flashed through my mind. I could just hear the Saviour saying “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.” “Yes, Lord”, I respond. “Let me sit at your feet for a few minutes.”
How do we deal with this? What do we do when, despite all our efforts to focus on God alone, jealousy and bitterness creeps into our serving? How do we prevent it? How do we stop it? How do we maintain consistent joy in all areas of our life? What do we do to stop looking around at others and look only to where our help comes from?
I don’t know.
But I’m learning.
God is trying to show me, trying to teach me. I only pray I will not be stubborn, that I would receive his corrections with humility and a listening heart. For now I will simply sit at his feet and ask him to help me understand him, his ways, and what he really wants from me.
Do you struggle with maintaining a joyful heart in service? Do you need prayer for anything? Do you have experience, guidance, or advice that you would like to share with me? Please tell me! You can contact me here, via my contact form. I would also absolutely love to hear any prayer requests you might have, even if they feel like they are minor or insignificant! You have no idea how much I would love to pray for you! If you think you know someone who you think would find encouragement from this post, do not hesitate to share it with them!
Thank you for reading this post! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you!
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” -Philippians 4:6 (NASB)
All quotations from scripture are from the ESV translation unless noted otherwise.