Wednesday night I had the privilege of attending a lady’s night at our church. We had a guest speaker with a powerful story and message.
She greeted us with two questions. The first was “Who (or what) do you serve?”
This is based on the passage found in Joshua 24:15
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (ESV)
The second question she posed was, “What has God entrusted to you?”
Both of these questions hit home for me.
A type-A overachiever at heart, I have spent the better part of my life performing in one way or another. As an adult, much of my performing has come by the way of climbing the corporate ladder.
I have spent over 30 years in the legal field. I started as a secretary, moved to legal assistant/paralegal, and finally into legal operations. I thrived on the fast-paced nature of law and continued to take on larger, and more complex projects. Though the money has been nice, I tend to be a “words of praise” woman and my boss and/or management taking note of my hard work was something I chased hard.
With each promotion my ego grew and my sense of accomplishment flourished. Inside I carried pride… “Look what I can do,” was a constant mantra.
But I never quite felt satisfied. I continued filling my bucket with things, and accomplishments, but they were short-lived and left me still feeling hollow. So, I worked harder, and longer, and with every promotion, with every raise, with every pat on the back I started to realize the cycle just kept repeating.
Though I had always known God in my life, it wasn’t until about eight years ago that I actually developed a relationship with him. When I acknowledged him fully, I began a journey of understanding my true identity – that I am the daughter of a King.
It has taken time. I am most definitely still a work in progress, but along the way, I have come to understand the emptiness I was feeling.
I was trying to fill my bucket with temporary things when the only thing that could truly fill my bucket was the love of Jesus.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in Matthew.
“Yes, come.” Said Jesus
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.
“Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.
“You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
Jesus didn’t hesitate in the moment Peter called on Him. He wasn’t angry with Peter for doubting. Jesus didn’t turn His back on him because of his hesitation. Jesus immediately reached out to Peter and grabbed him. I can almost hear the soft tone in Jesus’s voice when he questioned Peter about his doubts.
The transition from doing it all on my own to letting Jesus carry my load and lead the way has not been an easy one. I still find myself occasionally leaning on my own knowledge and ways of doing things first, but it takes me less and less time to acknowledge the error in my behavior and inviting Jesus in to my daily life. When I call on Him, he is ready and waiting with open arms and I am always left wondering what took me so long to turn to Him.
The second question of the evening, “What has God entrusted to me?” caused a bit of reflection today. Like many of you, I have had my share of challenges on my life. Some were painful, difficult, and I wasn’t sure how I would get through them, but with God’s help, love and grace, I did. In many ways I am a survivor. A survivor of a dysfunctional childhood, of losing many loved ones throughout my life, and of breast cancer.
Sometimes when we experience difficulties in our lives it’s easy to wonder “why,” or “why me.” But I think Maria’s question puts things in perspective.
God has entrusted us with the lessons we learn having gone through these experiences. We are called to be in community with each other, and I believe through our communities we can share these lessons of how God walked us through these times so others can share in our miracle stories. So that others can see Jesus through us and learn to call on Him not only during our trials, but in all things.
I was also reminded that we were carefully knit together by God. That He knows us each intimately. That we are in the exact place, at the exact time, with the exact people we were meant to be with each moment. Last night was no exception. I know God placed me in that chair that night to hear Maria’s story and apply her lessons to my life so that today I could reflect, and share with others what I learned through her, and what I have learned through God.
Today, and every day, I will choose to serve Him.