Skip to main content

Pickles anyone?

Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who want above all else to follow your steps. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains! They will grow constantly in strength, and each of them is invited to meet with the Lord in Zion. (Psalm 84:5-7 TLB)

Strong carries different meanings for different folks. To the one who cannot open the jar of pickles, strong are the hands of the one who makes it look so easy. To the one who cannot take their failing pet to the vet for those last few moments of life together, strong are the arms of that one who stands alongside even though it wasn't their lifelong pet. To the one who needs a trench dug through tough Arizona soil, strong are the arms of the teenage man who wields the pickax in rhythmic movement until that soil yields to his strength. Strong is often observed in ways we might label as "service" toward another. When we were weak, another was strong on our behalf.

Service isn't for the weak. It begins by recognizing the need exists - something that we may not believe possible becoming possible because someone 'steps up' with a strength greater than our own. The most memorable service of this type was that of Christ's strength being revealed when we had absolutely no way on our own to do away with our sin. That strength is multiplied day after day, each time we need a moment of grace to 'right' our missteps. His 'service' on our behalf never ceases, so why should we think he would desire any less of a response from us? Our service is an outcome of having been served in the greatest of ways possible!

It is this 'following in his steps' thing that we are considering this morning. The moment we decide to follow Jesus we enter into a lifestyle of service - becoming the strength others draw upon when their weakness or need is at its greatest. Some think weakness suggests some kind of 'bad thing' in one's life, but where I am weak is where I relish the service of another who is also connected to the heart of Jesus. Why? They might just be able to turn my weakness into a strength by that service! We don't have to fear God will ask us to give up all our worldly wealth and traipse off to some remote corner of the world to convert the natives. We have to fear we won't be responsive to the needs right there in front of us!

Service is all about serving where there is a need. The need may not be great to you, but to the one who is too weak to open that jar of pickles they have been craving for a week, that service is a blessing! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean