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!”
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.