Monday, May 9, 2011


                I return to work today for the first time since April 27, 2011.  I pull in the parking lot, grab my bag and head into the building.  As I cross the threshold the images of devastation and the faces of those in need are fresh on my mind.  My heart aches as I climb the stairs to my floor; I don’t want to be here.  This feeling has nothing to do with dread or dislike for my job or profession. This feeling is due to the deafening cries of what my eyes have seen and what my heart yearns to serve.  For the first time in my life, I feel like I have felt and seen 1 Peter 4:11 in action, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”  My spirit feels low as I sit at my desk and strain to remember the password to log into my computer.  People start to arrive; they ask everyone if they are okay and if they had any damage.  Everyone has conversations about the events over the past week.  Now, the work day resumes, normalcy starts to return to my environment.  But I don’t feel normal.  I don’t feel the same.  I feel changed by the rush of love I have felt over the past week, and I feel it overflowing onto everything.  How can I return to my normal lifestyle while every fiber of my being is pulling me to help?  The answer is: I can’t.  Why? Because from tragedy, God has produced not only an opportunity for the church to BE THE CHURCH and get off of the pew, go outside the four walls and SHOW God's love, but also the opportunity to share the gospel with so many who desperately need to hear it. In our service yesterday, a victim of the tornadoes that was helped by Christ followers gave his life to Christ. That, in itself, is the solemn voice of an almighty God that His love does prevail over all.  Why is this so powerful? Because, “if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:1-11).  Why does this matter? Because, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:35-40).  We are not saved by serving, we are saved for serving.  The main reason we don’t serve is selfishness.  We don’t have the time or energy to serve others because we are preoccupied with our own agendas, dreams, and pleasures.  God is far more interested in why you serve others, rather than how well you serve them.  He is always looking at your heart, serving willingly and eagerly out of love for Him.  Jesus gave us an example by washing His disciples’ feet.  Paul wrote to “serve one another in love.” If we serve others out of love, this IS the love of God being shared among His children.  Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35).  Jesus is the Lord of our lives, and serving others is His example to us.  This is why I cannot return to how I was before.  I have felt the love of God poured out on me and everyone around me, and my desire for Him is growing stronger by the day.  You want to experience this? Get off the pew.