Monday, June 22, 2009

Meditations: A Divine Surprise

Recently I was reading in the book of John, going very slowly. I've been taking things in bite sized pieces so I can really slow down and see what's there. Sometimes I've read through a paragraph until something hits me. Sometimes I've simply meditated on one verse. It's been challenging and encouraging.

A while back, I came across this verse.

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.

That got me thinking. What would I do if all authority had been given into my hands? If I could fix anything, change anything? If I knew that I had that kind of power? The verse said that Jesus knew that he had come from God. What if I could know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I had been sent as God's messenger and that my words were directly from God? (In all honesty, the first thing that popped into my mind had something to do with public speaking or writing a book.) What if I also knew that my time was limited. Soon I would be returning to God. What would I do?

What about you? What would you do?

Then I read what Jesus did. He got up, got into his grubby work clothes and did the ancient equivalent of scrubbing toilets.

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

Since I didn't remember that it was coming, his action struck me with the same force of surprise that it must have had for his disciples. Knowing that he had all authority and all truth and that his time was limited . . . he served. He loved. He gave of himself in this most humble way. What a gracious, holy and beautiful God we have!

What a reminder this was to me of what is truly important. I can do and know all sorts of things, as it says in 1Cor. 13, but if I don't have love, it's all for nothing. And how different God's love is from the "what will it do for me?" love we see around us - and inside us - everyday.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. - Mark 10:45

Our definition of an important job usually amounts to "Something that will be seen by many people". God's definition of an important job is something closer to "Something done out of love for God through the power of Christ". How incredible to know that He has given me the opportunity to copy Christ in loving and giving every single day!

There's something to think about the next time you find yourself scrubbing toilets. :-)

1 comment:

Tete said...

The most important jobs God will have us do will be done in secret, for what we do in secret- he rewards openly, and what we do for the whole world to see- we have already had our reward.
Some people wait for God and angels for an answer to their prayers, many times over looking a simple gesture from someone God has sent to fill that need.
If you look at all the little things you do everyday as being the answer to someone else's prayers, it makes all those little jobs easier to do.
Kyle was out of town one time and called me with one of his little secret jobs...delivering toilet paper to someone who had no money to buy it...he realized that this was important to the person and God had put him in this life and just because he was out of town, he could still fulfill his mission, and one more prayer was answered.
Your lesson today is very powerful- and we do have the power to be faithful and serving.
A smile, a phone call, kind words- they don't take a lot of effort- but they can be so powerful...and scrubbing toilets, mopping floors, setting a table, turning down a bed- done out of love take half the time and effort.

God put us in each others lives to help us along our way. I'm so glad he put you in mine today.