Monday, May 20, 2013

November 2012-Washing dishes for Jesus
Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do in word or in deed, do it all in the name of The Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
I am used to the pressure from the world. I am actually quite immune to most of it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am right where I am supposed to be. I feel no guilt when I pass the school where I used to teach. I left there one day 10 years ago, my water broke that night, and I have never looked back! Although difficult, I know that God has called me to this 24 job and the blessings I receive daily could never be counted.
Church pressure, however, is a different matter. There are so many verses that can be pointed at me to make me feel guilty. So many needs in the world and in the body of Christ that need to be filled. And who will do them if not me?
This past few months I have been made increasingly aware of my inability to meet these needs. With five children ages 10,8,6,4,2 we have been battling a cold, or a stomach funk, or a nasty cough the last 3 months without much relenting. I have had 5 close friends give birth without be being able to bless them with a meal. I haven't served in the nursery once during this forced sabbatical. And of course there are the women's Bible studies to which I haven't been able to attend or bring food. Add to that a slower season of work for my husband and when those group emails go out asking for another donation for another friend in need and the guilt is suffocating.
I am just just trying to catch my breath all the while feeling guilty for breathing. One second I feel relief to be chipping away at Mount Laundrymore, and cleaning those breakfast dishes, but not for long. Within seconds I am reminded how I never made those meals for my friends and now there is another dear friend who could use a meal.
So I breathe. And try to remember my Lord. My savior. What was his ministry? Discipling. How many did he have? 12. Emmanuel had 12, and has entrusted me with 5. That is a pretty tall order in my book. Everywhere I turn someone is telling me things like "Jesus left the 99 to reach the one" or how about the story of the man throwing starfish back in the sea? " it matters to that one" he famously quotes. Yet at the same time we are so focused on quantity. How many are in your church? How many in your Bible study? How many Souls have you won? Meals have you cooked? Flyers have you passed out? Studies are you teaching? Work days attended? Aaaaaaaahhhhh!
Isaiah 40:11 says that the shepherd gathers his sheep into His bosom. Sigh. That sounds nice. But it gets better. It goes on to say that "he gently leads those that have young." That's me. I have young. And if he is gentle with me, than who am I to be so hard on myself. I am making disciples, I am feeding the hungry, I am caring for the wounded and broken-hearted, times 5, a.round.the.clock. And I am doing it in the name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Don't get me wrong, part of my discipleship program includes visiting the elderly in nursing homes, bringing the love of Jesus through cookies and smiles to our neighbors, loading up the disciples in the van to bring a meal to a family in need, or just showing them how to tell someone about Jesus in the grocery line. But when my discipleship program takes an unexpected turn, I will rest in the one that controls my path. I will rejoice in the mundane, and be content pouring love into my five. Guilt free!