Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Humbled Servant

"He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that, He poureth water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded." (John 13:4-5, KJV)

Having spent twenty-four years in the retail and fashion industry, I have found that there are certain jobs and tasks that just require the most amazing amount of humility. I have always admired those who have worked in the shoe department for what I would call their bravery because, let's face it, feet are not always the prettiest or sweetest parts of our bodies! To sit at some one's feet and help them find shoes that are pretty or comfortable (or in some rare cases, both!) is not an easy task. The position of "shoe servant" requires strength, patience and sometimes the ability to hold your breath for a good length of time!

Now, back when Jesus washed the disciples' feet, they were probably really dusty and dirty and what Jesus did was normally left for a slave or servant to do. In John, chapter 13, we have Jesus, our Lord and King kneeling to wash the disciples' feet. Jesus, the King, knelt to do a servant's job. What are you willing to kneel and do?

Serving the public can be a daunting task and it really does take all the grace of God to be humble in serving others. The world's quotas, deadlines, goals and shoulda, woulda, coulda's require us to be humans "moving faster than the speed of light." Why? Once we have achieved the quotas, deadlines and goals, there are only more waiting. There is no rest at the end; only more expectations that make us believe we are not good enough and that what we have is the best we will ever get or be.

Ten months ago, I left the retail industry worn out, beat down and ragged. I loved the industry and the people, but I was exhausted and burned out. I am still weary. As my pastor taught this past Sunday, some of us have so much oppression heaped on us in our lives that we wouldn't know rest or good health if we saw it. In ten months I have discovered true surrender, rest in the Lord and for the first time in my life, joy. God is renewing me to serve, but this time it is His way. His way is with gratitude, adoration and devotion to Him. His way is based on real rest, real trust, and being exhausted physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually to the point that surrender to God is the only way to survive.

The rest that I have found through my Lord and Savior gives me hope and comfort. I now know that the goals, quotas and expectations no longer need to be met at the speed of light, but can now be accomplished by His power and His might. I don't have to be superhuman and I don't have to strive anymore. I can serve the way I know I was always meant to serve - with love and sincerity. I know there will still be persecution, humiliation and discouragement, but this time, my purpose is different. I work, I serve, I live and I kneel for the Lord. If the King can do it, so can I.

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