As I ate my breakfast one morning, I found myself engrossed in a Guideposts story about a woman who had lost her husband, and along with his passing, she had lost her meaning in life. For a number of years she had been his caretaker, and now that he was gone, she lacked purpose. Later, God led her to minister as a volunteer with a church organization that offered respite and encouragement for caregivers by providing group services to people suffering from dementia.
Toward the end of the story, she said something that caught my attention. Immediately, I knew God was speaking to me. How did I know that? Because the thought resonated with my soul, it leaped off the page (so to speak), and it was a sound Biblical principle.
So, what did she say that I found to be such a stunning thought? It’s actually a simple truth but has had me thinking about it ever since. Her words were, “Serving others, I became more deeply myself, more the person God made me.” I love that thought. When serving others we actually become more deeply who God created us to be in the first place.
Some years ago, there was a Christian song that struck me with a similar idea. In one stanza, the words said, “Living for yourself will never set you free.” In other words, when we only think of ourselves, we actually stunt our growth, lose self confidence, and ultimately become arrogant. That’s bondage! But God has given us a tool, really a gift to be able to serve others and in doing so, we not only become who we were created to be, we also grow and flourish spiritually, gain confidence and hopefully experience a more humble posture in life. We find meaning, fulfillment, satisfaction, peace and joy. All this from serving others.
Serving others, to me, is a Holy Calling. It is uniquely ours to do, not to gain salvation, but to live out our Christian life according to God’s personal call. For some, it may be teaching Sunday School, raising children, being a Big Sister or Brother. For others, it may be taking food to a sick neighbor, being involved in caregiving, creative outlets like painting to bless others, helping with housework. The list is endless.
How can we know our particular calling/s to service? Over a lifetime, there will be many. Some will be for a lifetime, others for a season. Our callings, like everything in the Christian life, are to be Spirit led. We pray and ask God to reveal where He wants to use us. Then we assess what our passions are, what brings us joy, what gladdens our heart, what makes our eyes light up. God delights in giving us zeal and excitement for what He calls us to do. That doesn’t necessarily mean the call will be without hardship. It may even require some difficult times, but there will also be an assurance that we are where God wants us.
Col. 3:17, 3:23-24, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Yes, remember to give thanks for the opportunity to serve.