Made to Serve God
God Doesn't Serve Us; We Serve God
Instead of living life thinking of what God can do for us, the bigger question is to ask what we can do for God. So much of our lives are vested in ensuring our family's prosperity, safety, and health. And what happens when times are hard? We stress out, worry about what to do next, and forget what we were created for in the first place - not for our pleasure, but His.
There are constant struggles from which we are not spared.
We can choose to become embittered by downfalls, or use them as growth opportunities. It hurts when following the rules still lands us into trouble. Money dries up, the car breaks down, a routine doctor's visit ends up becoming a hospital stay. Such are things that we like to think we have control over, only we don't. Yet without these experiences, we would not know what true humility really is, nor would we be interested in seeking the Creator. Sad as it is, God uses our brokenness to draw us to Him, time and time again. He knows that it is painful for us to fall, but He expects us to get back up and keep going until we succeed. That's what we do with our kids, isn't it? The first time they are learning to walk, they fall, but we still encourage them to try again. Eventually, they learn. It may be painful for us to watch, but we know that as a result, our children learn not just the skill of walking, but also how to persevere through failures.
The danger in struggle is that there is always the potential for fear to creep in and crowd out hope. Once hope is snuffed out, we give up. We may even stop reaching out to God. Yet it is in our vulnerability that we need the Lord the most! In recognizing we are inadequate at solving that which we have no control over, we look to what He wants us to learn. It is equally important, then, that we must also look for ways to encourage others in their problems also, before it is too late.
Looking for the blessings.
Sometimes we think that if only we had... (fill in the blank) we'd be happier. Maybe there are even goals we are trying to accomplish so that we feel better about ourselves. While it is admirable to have something to strive for, will those goals better help us serve God?
There are people who are very wealthy, while others are poor. Who is blessed and who is cursed? By many, being rich is a blessing, because wealth provides opportunities. And yet...such opportunities mean greater responsibility and more worry. While being poor may seem like a curse, it may also pave the way for greater appreciation for hard work, family, and faith. Attitude and motive determine which way to look at what we are offered. By finding the blessings in wealth, poverty, health, or sickness, we learn how to be of help to the Lord by being able to reach out to others who need to be reminded of how blessed they are too!
True living is living for God--even amidst our greatest pain.
Perhaps we are called to lend a hand or offer a kind word to others even while we are suffering a huge blow. And while human tendency is to shy back until we can "heal," sooner or later we actually discover that healing is only possible when we share our pain and what we've learned with others who could use the counsel. Reaching out to others who are hurting helps alleviate stress, upholds our faith in God, and distracts us from wallowing in self-pity. When others are blessed, God is praised. New believers emerge. We are encouraged once again to succeed where we have failed before. It is a blessing to serve others in the name of Jesus, so that all can see His handiwork in us and praise Him. A life of service is never without reward.
Questions to Consider
- What have you learned from your past failures?
- Who inspires you the most, and why?
- How do you cope with adverse situations?
- Do you consider yourself a mentor to at least 1 person in your life? If not, who could you reach out to today?