I Stand Amazed…and Corrected!

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It never ceases to amaze me how much time, effort, and patience God invests in my life to show me the simplest things!

Sometimes there’s a lesson in a pair of shoes or the words of a song. Other times He uses the wisdom of a child or the beauty of nature. Still there are the times when He uses the ridiculous. You know, like a dirty coffee cup or a roll of toilet tissue. Yep. I’ve been chastised by a dirty coffee cup.

Now, something you should know about me is I LOVE to serve. I feel called to serve. (Actually we are all called to serve one another, but I’m not gonna drag you into my psychotic episode…yet.)

Okay, back to my issues.

I have a sincere desire for a servant heart. But I’m learning that having a servant heart doesn’t mean that I get to choose who I serve, how they get served and when the serving happens. Actually I’m learning that the service itself isn’t really the point at all. Imagine my surprise when God let me know, very clearly I might add, that He doesn’t really need me to handle anything for Him! I mean, for real?

Out of all the people written about in scripture, the two I most often relate to are Know-it-all-Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary, and Talk-First-Think-Later-Peter. And though these aren’t the only two people in history who’ve tried to serve God in an advisory capacity, it is a character trait they share with Yours Truly. My tendency is to try and point out to God who I think needs to be served and how I think I could best accomplish it my way, on my time table and with my own resources. I know! It’s ludicrous! But so many times I don’t just stop there. Oh no. That’s not bad enough, right? I sometimes cross the line and tell God why “so-and-so” doesn’t deserve my service! Can you believe it? I actually have the nerve to tell God that a person (much like myself) would be better off if they learned how to “do it themselves” and that I would just be “enabling” them if I lent a helping hand.

Whew! It feels good to get that off my chest! It’s true. Confession is good for the soul!

Now comes the hard part. Letting it go and practicing a little submission to God’s will. I’ll let you know how that works out for me.

As it so often happens, after a flaw is kindly pointed out in my life, my Father is faithful to back it up with His word. He has clearly shown me an example of what my attitude should be and I wonder how I could have missed it for so long. It caused me to consider the possiblity of a reversed situation. What if Jesus had my attitude…? (I know! Scary isn’t it?)

Can you imagine if the conversation in a garden between a Father and His Son some two thousand years ago had gone something like this?

Dad, I know what you have planned for me to do over the next couple of days. But don’t you see that it will only enable these kids of yours to continue to live any way they want to? Don’t you know that they will still disobey you and not appreciate the sacrifice you are asking of me? Wouldn’t it better if we worked on another plan? I really think they should be required to do some things for themselves, just to make it fair.

Instead, praise Jesus, the actual conversation was more like this…

Dad, I know what you are asking of me and if there is any other possible way, can we please use Plan B? Nevertheless, I’ll do it your way, not mine.

So now, here’s my lesson…if my main objective in life is to become more like Jesus, do I really have the right to quibble over washing a coffee cup for someone or getting riled up about another person failing to replace an empty roll of toilet tissue? I don’t think so. It was made clear to me that it’s not about the act itself. As ALWAYS, it’s about my heart. The molding and shaping and developing of the part of me that will last forever. The part that was created in God’s image. That’s the only thing that really matters to God – our hearts.

Any thoughts? Want to get something off your chest, too? It’s only fair. You listened to me, I certainly have time to listen back!

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3 responses to “I Stand Amazed…and Corrected!

  1. Well. Since you asked … invited really … yes. I am so puking tired of getting beaten up in churches and taken the heat for other peoples mess ups. (I do and I do and I do for you kids, and this is the thanks I get????) I don’t understand why God allows His kids that are really trying to love and serve and minister to get kicked around and smacked upside the head while the evil prosper INSIDE THE WALLS OF THE CHURCH.

    If God would just agree to do it my way we could clean up this mess in short order.

    And yes, I’d probably be kicked to the curb with everybody else. And kicked farther than most. But I don’t really want to think about that. I am busy wanting justice for everyone else …

    • Ron, I feel your pain and frustration. I’ll be praying for you and your church.

      One of the most important lessons God has taught me this far is GRACE is more desirable than JUSTICE – always! I’m not saying there are no consequences for bad decisions, but forgiveness and grace covers it all. Hang in there. Your long-term retirement plan is “out of this world!” 🙂

  2. Ron – I used to feel this way too – I have this posted to my fridge & I read it at least once a week.
    Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble inthe sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God: for it is written, “Vengence is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”.
    It is difficult to remind oneself of this daily – especially with those who are of little faith.
    God Bless!

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