Until it Hurts (June)

Sarah Lee Photography: Ocean Photography

“Knowing that of the Lord
ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance:
for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
{Colossians 3:24}

This morning I was annoyed with the setbacks I had already faced before 9:00am. I found myself impatient and disconcerted. Granted, now these inconveniences seem so minor and petty, but at the time I was struggling with my attitude and failing to react with grace in these circumstances. I was unable to complete my kitchen chores because other jobs had not been done, and I impatiently thought, “I’ll just leave it for someone else to finish. I’m not going to pick up their jobs!”

However, as I moved on to the next project, the merciful Spirit of God began to prick my conscience. I’ve been seeing the abundant grace of God displayed in the Bible and in my own life through sanctification. I humbly saw my selfishness in comparison with that great measure of mercy and grace dealt out to me, despitemy own shortcomings. I felt convicted that instead of just contributing to the unfinished chores in the kitchen, that I could deal with grace and pick up those extra jobs. Not only do it, but do it with a kind heart and happy attitude.

When I become aggravated with the inconveniences of daily life that might increase my burden and labor, it is my fleshly reaction to resist…to put my foot down…to say I am not going to keep giving. “I am tired of serving. I’ll leave and let that person figure out how to do it themselves. It’s not even my job – so I won’t do it!”

Am I the only one who ever thinks these selfish things? I sure hope so!

As the Holy Spirit worked in my heart this morning about my selfish attitude, my eyes were turned to the incredible example of my merciful Savior. I must be “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). When I look to the life of Jesus, I see complete selfless service throughout His entire life – up until His last moments when “saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!” (John 19:27) His life was one of mercy and servanthood. He was rejected more than we can ever feel or imagine, yet He did not fight back: “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1Peter 2:23). He bore the pain of humanity and the betrayel of both his friends and disciples – and He took on the curse that must be dealt out to mankind. And He never resisted, for it was His Father’s will. He never once said, “That’s enough. I have served others and given up my own desires all these years. I will choose my own comforts today. Let those sinful wretches save themselves!” Jesus faced human emotions (Hebrews 4:15); He was touched with the “feelings of our infirmities,” yet He choose obedience. He choose to serve…to give away Himself…until that very last drop of blood and last cry of agony and that last excruciatingly painful breath…because it was His Father’s will.

He was victorious! I don’t know about you, but I am so humbled when I compare my small inconveniences and minor scuffles with the cross that Jesus carried for 33 years.

“We are the children of God:
and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;
if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
{Romans 8:17-18}

We as Christians, as we seek to follow in these footsteps of our Master, are commanded to be givers and not takers. Our world exalts self and taking, not others and giving. Have you ever been told, “You deserve it?” Well, in the Bible, we are told what we truly deserve – and it’s nothing we want – the wrath and punishment and damnation of a holy God because of our terrible sins against Him. Yet, He has exhibited such amazing mercy to save us from the curse (Deuteronomy 27-28), thus we are indebted lives of service to His Kingdom. We should never grow weary in offering acts of love and sacrifice. We should press on, despite the cost and the sacrifice. When I begin to feel weary and like throwing in the towel (literally, sometimes), a motto that comes to mind is, Give until it hurts!

To keep going, especially when I start to feel the pain. Then is when I know I am truly serving, not because it’s convenient, but because of a choice that it is right and I am commanded to serve my precious Savior. In this sacrifice is found joy.“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalm 126:5). Next time you feel impatient with difficulties, remember our Savior and keep giving.

Have you found joy in sacrifice, in service? I pray that you might, as you give and give and give for the glory Christ.

“O that there were such an heart in them,
that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always,
that it might be well with them,
and with their children for ever!

Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 
Ye shall walk in all the ways which the
LORD your God hath commanded you,
that ye may live, and that it may be well with you,
and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.”
{Deuteronomy 5}

Looking to Christ,

n o t e » I want to share with you a summer challenge I am taking along with my sister – a challenge to read your Bible at least 15 minutes a day and memorize one verse a week for this summer (June 1-August 31). It is hosted by Loving the Lord Ministries and I would love to know if you are taking the challenge so I can pray for you! I can’t wait to see how God uses it in so many lives, and enjoy the accountability that it provides, knowing that we are doing it together with so many other girls. I encourage you to take the challenge because only when you pour out your life in God’s Word and at His feet, will you reap the rich blessings of His truths (Psalm 27:8) and the joy of His presence (Psalm 16:11). “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8).

3 c o m m e n t s »

SAMANTHA R. Thank you for sharing with us, Sarah. I’ve been convicted quite a bit lately of how I haven’t been giving God my “all” but only part of me. And in reality, He owns all of me!! To see how far I have to go is very humbling. I know that I am selfish at times and have had the same attitude as you mentioned… “I don’t want to serve in that way” or “I really don’t want to have to take up the ‘slack’ when it’s not my responsibility” sort of attitude. It’s awful!!
By the way, thank you for sending me the summer challenge. I am definitely doing it!!

MARTHA JOY Hello Sarah, I just wanted to say that I was really encouraged by your article! I also have trouble with just ‘leaving things for someone else to do’ and that was such a beautifully written encouragment! Thank you so much for what you do with KBR! I look forward to every magazine issue. Hope you’re having a wonderful day!
Love & Blessings, Martha Joy

SARAH LEE Thank you so much for sharing what the Lord has been convicting you of, Samantha. I have so much to learn myself and after writing this article, only proved how far I have to learn these exact truths of service. I also am thrilled to hear that you are taking the summer challenge! You will be in my prayers!

Martha, your thoughts are a blessing. Thank you for sharing – we can pray for one another as we strive to serve our Savior together! God bless you today!

REBEKAH P. Thank you so much for sharing, Sarah! What a good reminder. Colossians 3:23-24 is always such a sweet reminder: “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men . . . IT IS THE LORD CHRIST YOU ARE SERVING.” May we continue to “give and give and give”, in the joy knowing we serve our King and Master gives us!