There are some things about the culture of the world that are the same across boundaries; across ethnic differences; across color lines – and selfishness is one of those things. 99.9% of us think of ourselves first especially when we are in difficulty – we want people to see us and care for us and we want a break from giving ourselves away. Unfortunately, that is not the way the call of God works.
Those who we are discipling need teaching and direction. Those who are hurting need love and compassion. Those who are lost need the path to our Lord, Christ. Those who are in despair need to be given a picture of hope. And wouldn’t you know it! – the children of God; those redeemed by Jesus Christ; we are responsible always for giving our lives, hearts, love, compassion, truth, hope, peace, joy – to the world. Even when we ourselves are in need!
In the last year I’ve lost both my nephew and his mother, my oldest sister. I’ve also had some health challenges that have been both an enigma and an inconvenience. People who love me are constantly telling me to rest; to take some time away; to take a break – and I am giving my mind and heart times of rest, but not neglecting my calling. As I read God’s Word and look at the beheading of John, I know that Jesus was retreating from danger and opposition; but in light of my recent losses, it appears to me that my Savior is also grieving the loss of His cousin and ministry forerunner. However, even in this time of struggle and bereavement He continues in His ministry, allowing His compassion for the world to reign!
I want to be like Him! So … I too will keep going; keep pressing; keep loving; keep listening. I do have to readjust some things – I have to travel to Africa for shorter periods; I cannot drive; I have to keep my stress down – but it doesn’t mean that I cannot show love and be a missionary right where I am. Inviting my neighbors into my home; speaking words of grace to the cashier; showing love in ways that speak to my mother and my sister in our family’s great grief.
I cannot allow the troubles of this world or the pain that is piercing my heart to keep me from carrying out my calling. It is my privilege and duty to be God’s love in a lost world! I need His compassion and peace in my heart – so I’ve got to be ready to give His compassion and peace away! Blessed in order that I might Bless others.
God Himself will strengthen me and He will also be The One those in need see! I’m His chosen one even in my own times of trouble. My duty is to Him – ALWAYS!
His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus. Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. Matthew 14: 12- 14
2 thoughts on “Serving in Sorrow”
Powerful words, Jan, and so true! When we went through years of infertility, the human sorrow Jesus expressed was such a comfort to me. When He wept at Lazarus’ tomb, He knew He would raise Lazarus and there would be JOY in a matter of minutes, but still he wept. I am convinced He was weeping as much for the grief of the sisters, and all of us who suffer the human condition, as for his own experience of grief and pain. He has a plan that is so much bigger and greater, but He still knows and feels our pain. We never weep alone.
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