Last Christmas my husband gave me a day to myself. If you’re a mom, you know what a priceless gift this is. Whether it’s a day of pampering, maybe to the spa- or even just 5 minutes alone in your bathroom without little children banging on the door….
I was thrilled to receive this gift and looked forward to “my day” for weeks.
And then… the stomach bug hit my entire house. The same day that was scheduled to be “mine.”
I confess that initially, I was not quick to live out the beautiful picture of a servant heart that we see in Philippians 2. I love my children dearly, but when I was cleaning up diarrhea, doing countless loads of laundry, and wiping vomit out from my own hair... I couldn’t help but feel that my day of pampering and fell short of my expectations.
The Lord graciously opened my eyes in this moment and helped me to see that in His calling me to Christlikeness, He is calling me to serve. He was calling me to lay down my agenda, lay down my annoyances, and to lay down my desire to be served. Gratefully, he promises the grace needed to walk in that calling.
In John 13 we see Jesus in some pretty horrible circumstances; circumstances that make a little stomach bug and some vomit look like nothing. He knew that the hour had come for him to die on the cross for self-absorbed sinners just like me.
Jesus knew that the wrath of a just and holy God would soon fall on him. And what did he do? He served. Just prior to the moment of his death, Jesus willingly ministered to his disciples by washing their feet. At a time when it would be natural for us to think that his disciples should be serving him, or that Jesus should be demanding that they recognize what He is about to suffer or the sacrifices He is about to make, we find him simply serving. Wiping the dirty feet of people who didn’t deserve it.
What Jesus did was not normal. It sounds impossible. And, if you are not a believer who is empowered by his Spirit, it IS impossible.
But the good news for us today is that the same selfless Spirit that we see in Christ, lives in us and can empower us to do the same. We are delivered! By his power, we can lay our life down every day, joyfully. We can lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard we work, or about how we never get a “me” day.
We are freed from the desire to be served and our natural hatred for service through Christ, our servant king. Jesus brings dignity to service through his example of service. And He provides the power we need for that service through the Holy Spirit.
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION/ REFLECTION:
- In what areas of your life do you see a desire to be served rather than to serve? Pray that the Lord would expose these areas and ask that He would grant you freedom to serve with joy within them.
- What might it look like to practically depend on the Holy Spirit in the moments you are tempted to resent the service of your family?
- How does the example of Jesus and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit free us from believing we need a “me” day to be able to pour out, or that we deserve one for doing so?
Kate Horney is a wife to Patrick and a mom to two boys, Jackson & Warren James. She is saved by grace and fueled by coffee. Kate and her family live in North Carolina where she runs an online fitness group for busy women who want to learn how to #dofitnessbetter. You can find her on IG (https://www.instagram.com/beyondfitmom/) and FB (https://www.facebook.com/beyondfitmom/) as well as her blog (www.beyondfitmom.com).