Opportunities to Serve

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. Luke 1:56 (NIV)

The holidays are the toughest time of year for most people. This week alone I have received prayer requests for families and health situations. I went to sleep last night only after intentionally laying those prayers at the feet of Jesus. If I would have kept the burdens, I might have wept all night!

Part of my reading last night was the first chapter of Luke’s gospel. I think that’s Mary’s words in verses 46-55 may be some of the most beautiful poetry I have ever read. I think that ‘beauty’ happens when it comes from the heart straight to the heart of God. It’s my kind of magic!

Mary had a lot on her plate at that time of her life! She was young and just betrothed and pregnant! And yet does she stay at home and focus on her life? No, she goes to tend to her cousin in the last weeks of her pregnancy. Mary is just there to serve. Jesus would later say that such good comes out of the overflow of a heart that is full of goodness. (Luke 6:45)

I believe God desires to bless me by telling me of opportunities to serve others. The key point is for me to listen and be willing to be used. Most often it is not a HUGE moment. I may not even be consciously aware that I am doing anything extra-ordinary! If I am being the ‘tool’ in God’s hand…it is His Hand that is important not me, the object!

There are so many, many opportunities in the next few weeks to be a tool in God’s hands. There are so many people who are hurting and have needs. And if you ask, “How are you?” or “Is there anything I can do for you:” the most common answer is “We’re fine!” “No, everything is fine!” There are bunches of ‘fine’, hurting people out there! Listen! Receive God’s unction (impetus, encouragement) to serve someone! It may be a note. A telephone call. It may be a gift. One year, Henry and I had NO money at Christmas. There was NOTHING in the bank account and we had NO idea how we would have anything but the mac and cheese in the pantry for Christmas dinner… and presents? Not happening! I was SO depressed as we went to Christmas Eve worship. I think I wept through the whole service! Oh ye of little faith! A friend walked up to Henry as we were leaving and said, “God told me to give this to you as I was coming here tonight.” It was $50. We had food for several days and a gift for James. It was certainly a ‘God moment’ and makes me cry with joy every time I remember it!

Maybe this is a year when life is tough for you. Mary can show us how to give of ourselves which costs nothing but that we were willing. Let us open our hearts and hear Jesus’ voice.

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. Ephesians 6:7 (NIV)

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