The Heart of A Servant

So many times, we as people, myself included, wish for an easy life. We wish for good jobs that don’t require more of us than we have to give. We wish for relationships that take no work. We wish for people to treat us with respect, without giving any back.

Recently, I came into a different job. It is a job that is hard work. I kept wishing my first week that God will give me a different one. And that I wouldn’t have to stay long. It is mentally and physically demanding. Saturday is one of the hardest days. Everyone and their mother, brother, sister, and son are out gallivanting at grocery stores or the mall. The store I worked at was absolutely packed. Their stomachs were hungry and you couldn’t get the samples out fast enough. This job requires serving.

I kept begging God to answer my question. Why me, God? Why do I have to endure physical labor? Why did you put me here and allow me to go through physical pain to get the job done?

And he was telling me as clear as the day: “If you want to serve, you must first become a servant. If you want to serve in my kingdom, you must first serve the world. Which is my kingdom.” 

Whoa. In that moment, it brought clarity. Jesus didn’t come to Earth to be served hand and foot. He didn’t come to live as a prince. He washed feet. He was a carpenter. Which was physical labor. He never had an issue of pride. So he was ready to be serving at the lowliest of positions. He didn’t have the money pouring in to support his lifestyle. But he wasn’t homeless. He wasn’t without. He had just enough to get by.

In the world, we are taught the more money you have, the more successful you appear to be. In God’s word, we are taught that to love is to have success. To be righteous is success. To put others’ needs above yourself and staying humble is success.

Recently, I’ve been delving into Ruth. The thing about reading the Bible is I can see myself in all of these stories. They are not just fiction to me. They are real to me. I can see certain traits in the characters that I identify with. I can relate to Ruth. Especially recently in my situation. It seems every time I read Ruth, I see it in a different way.

Ruth was of Moab. She married a man, who later died. She left her father and mother. She left behind her family. Her relatives. Everything that felt like home to her. And for what? To live with her mother in law and live in the struggle with her. She felt the need to take care of Naomi. She was somewhat of a caretaker. She put her mother in law’s needs above her own. Naomi did not expect her to make that sacrifice. Naomi even said at one point

But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!”
Orpah, Naomi’s other daughter in law left. But Ruth stayed. She stayed and returned with Naomi to Jerusalem to start a new life. Was this an easy life? No. Ruth went out to the fields to get food for her and her mother in law. She got her hands dirty. That is what I like about Ruth. And to make a long story short, she found favor with a husband. God put the right guy in her path because she was willing to serve. She was willing to eat what the dogs would not. I’m sure it was physically exhausting. She was probably starving. But still she persevered and did what she had to do. She could have married someone rich. She could have pursued an easier life. But her huge heart took her far.
When God revealed to me that to serve, you must first become a servant, I was humbled. It is one more way I can identify with Jesus. He went as far as to wash the disciples’ feet. This is the son of God getting his hands dirty. And for what? Love. Ruth got her hands dirty because of her love for her mother.
That morning on the way to work, I prayed.
God, may my hands be the hands of a servant. Dirty. I would rather have dirty and bloody hands from fighting the fight than soft and silky hands of a princess who sits on the sidelines. May I have  the feet of a servant. Calloused, sore and swollen. It shows that I work hard to serve. That even though it is small in comparison to the suffering that Christ did for me, I will do it. 
I saw this quote on Pinterest that resonated with me. It said “Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”-Bruce Lee
Concluding this post, I pose to you a question. If you have a ministry written on your heart, would you be willing to go through every step in the process? No matter how painful it might be, if you want it bad enough, you will do whatever you have to do to get there. I know for me, personally, I want to lead others in worship. It is the very cry of my heart. It is my ultimate dream, passion and desire. My number one heart’s desire is to love God more and more each day. Having a ministry is serving. But in order to serve, you must first become a servant.
He is placing us where He wants us. In complete adoration of Him. In complete submission of Him. This may rule against what we want to do. But it is what we need to do.
Do not give up. Whatever passion is placed inside you did not originate from your own mind or heart. It originated from his. Keep your head up. Don’t stay a downtrodden warrior. Keep fighting through the pain!!
Stay strong,
-M
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