:when self-pity robs you of the joy of service:
I grew up hearing stories about great missionaries. Some were my parents’ friends, and some were laced throughout Christian history. To me, they were the real adventure stories, each one showcasing a faithful God. I owe much of my faith to the testimony of the way Jesus moved in the missionary community around the world. Growing up I got a close up to hardships missionaries go through. I admired the work but was positive I never wanted to be a missionary. It was too hard.
Despite my deep desire for God to use me, the reality is my flesh has the most impressive talent for avoiding anything that hints of discomfort. Which is why today is not my day, my files are deleted, I’m sick to my stomach, the Wi-Fi is slow, I’m covered in bug bites, I cannot do anything right, and I feel entirely useless.
I’m being suffocated in discontentment within my self-pity-party.
Today I really don’t want to serve; I want to be served. I miss people who know me. And the world, through every possible avenue, sides with my flesh and tells me that discomfort is something to be avoided; that I’m somehow “better than this.”
Yet, Jesus presents a different idea as He shows me the outright ugliness of my self-pity and complaining inward spirit. One that tells me that the trials, challenges, discomforts, and hard things are actually good to embrace; they’re filled with purpose, allowed by a loving God, meant to actually accomplish something good in me.
Take a look at what His word says:
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.James 1:12 (NKJV)
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ… 1 Peter 1:6-7
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
This is why I can change my lens on the bad days. The very words of God have given me a new perspective in the midst of my struggles! It’s easy to think that a successful week of service is simply filled with a well-planned schedule and productivity. However, a full schedule and a productive week are not enough. I’ve found I need a mind saturated with prayers to a loving Savior.
Instead of always trying to do, He just asks me to sit with Him.
Psalm 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
He isn’t asking me to do anything in my own strength, He is just asking me to kneel and pray. Just to be close to Him as the truth of who He is drowns out my self-pity with an ocean of grace.