“God could not have chosen anyone less qualified, or more of a sinner, than myself. And so, for this wonderful work He intends to perform through us, He selected me – for God always chooses the weak and the absurd, and those who count for nothing.”- Francis of Assisi
Scurrying around, trying to prioritize my life, I serve. I have yielded my time, my gifts, and my body to the Lord for full-time service. This is the standard for all believers – full-time service, wherever we are, whatever we do, however we live, and wherever we work. For me, it happens to be writing, serving in my church, mentoring women, and caring for my family.
I am not qualified.
Like Francis, it is absurd that God would choose me. I am weak and flawed. My life is obscure, not accounting for much in the world’s economy. But in my little corner, God has put me to work.
What does this look like?
Today, as I fire off this post later than normal for my Thursdays, I do so because I am clearing my schedule for April. I have been offered a contract to publish my first novel. In April, I will be editing. I have words to cut. Therefore, I have moved all of April’s work to the end of March—to now.
Earlier in the week, I finished writing the youth material for the rest of 1 Peter. Based on input from the church members, I made revisions to the remaining adult material, working through unit by unit to implement change. My pastor got it all up on the church website. I got financial matters in order. The computer had “issues.” I led two women’s bible studies and participated in a third.
I missed my husband, who is caring for his dear mother this week. I planned with him when I might go and stay with her as we approach hospice and end of life. We want the best for her. I want to take my turn along with the rest. I want to serve her with Jesus’ hands.
Today, I was buried in my preparation for the coming weeks of prison ministry, planning and outlining my teaching times for the many weeks to come. Remember, I’m freeing my mind for April. Then, I realized a young woman will arrive shortly for discipleship.
I sat down, and here I jot.
This is ministry for a person with my particular gifts at my particular stage of life. Ten years ago, all of my activity centered around homeschooling my houseful of children, ferrying them to events, grading papers (always behind on that), and focusing on their concerns.
That was then. This is now.
This flying around, prioritizing, loving, putting-others-first lifestyle is the New Testament model. This is the norm. This is use of spiritual gifts. This is walking through doors God has opened. This is revering Christ in my heart as Lord and Master. This is adoration of what he did for me with his bloody death and glorious resurrection. This is freedom.
The use of your gifts may have a different aim and focus. Each of us is gifted for particular service in the body. You have other tasks to accomplish than I. But you have also found, I am certain, that as you serve, life does not hold still. Loved ones still get sick. Finances must be attended to. Crises must be dealt with.
All of this is ministry, because you serve the Master. He determines your tasks.
Therefore, you do things his way, on his timetable, because you love him above all else. Whether you’re holding a wee one as they vomit for the third day in a row, or dealing graciously with a coworker, or staying late to work because your boss needed your help, or leading a bible study, when you do all for God’s glory and in Christ’s service, you are doing ministry.
In our serving, just so we keep peace at the center as we scurry about doing good, Peter reminds us of who orders our days: “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves” (1 Peter 2:16).
What does your bondage to the kindest Master look like? How are you living as God’s slave?
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