It’s no secret that I am an only child and to the world that means I am “spoiled rotten”. You know that may be the case (occasionally), but what others fail to mention is the fact that we have all the weight of our parents, caretakers, etc. on our shoulders. Let me explain.
At the beginning of this year, my family and I were exposed to coronavirus. First my dad had symptoms, then my mom, and I had a little tickle in my throat. As we one by one got tested, I prayed hard asking God, “Lord, let me be the one to not have it so I can take care of them.” My dad tested positive, then shortly after my mom also tested positive. Again, I prayed and God answered; I tested negative out of my entire household.
I thank God that He carried my parents through it unscathed and kept me when others have not been so fortunate, but that’s not the part I wasn’t prepared for. I knew God would take us all through this. However, I wasn’t ready for what it meant to serve others.
In Mark 10:42-45 NASB, it says,
42 Calling them to Himself, Jesus *said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles domineer over them; and their people in high position exercise authority over them. 43 But it is not this way among you; rather, whoever wants to become prominent among you shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wants to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
I quickly realized that in taking on responsibility for my parents’ health, I could not be doing this for the accolades after nor do it to rub it in anyone’s face. Being able to serve joins with humility in never putting self before others. Our greatest example of this is Christ. He took on all our sins, so that each one of us could live again, even those who wouldn’t accept Him. Not only is that servanthood, but that’s love.
And in serving others, you have to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Had it been the other way around, I would expect the same love and care I gave my parents. Every day, I provided them with food (sometimes 3 meals y’all!), vitamins, and whatever else they needed because I wanted to be sure that they got better. I cannot lie to you, there were moments where it became overwhelming. Maybe something wasn’t right that day or they had a lot of demands, but 2 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB reminds us that,
4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. 5 It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, 6 it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Verse 4 became the spiritual focus for me during this time. Being patient in servanthood. So often, we hope that we have instant gratification from the things that we do. Yet, when it doesn’t reap anything immediately, we stop, we give up in the pursuit of what God has told us to do, or in my case who we are called to serve.
Our waiting has purpose. Our waiting comes with the anticipation that something bigger, better is coming. For me, it did when my parents fully recovered after 2 weeks of being out of commission.
Isaiah 40:31 KJV puts like this, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.“
Be encouraged my brother or my sister in serving others. Sometimes, it’s hard to be humble, or to love in spite of, or even to be patient. But, I assure you it will be worth it after awhile.
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, 24 knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23-24 NASB
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