When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giving our last bit...

Wednesdays are a challenge in this house. This is mostly because I have until now been poorly prepared for them...spiritually, emotionally and physically.

You see, Wednesday nights are church nights. And I have the honor of serving as the administrator of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade arena (known at VBF as "The Studio").

This may not sound like a big deal, but in a church our size (nearing 10,000 members), with a prolific congregation, the number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders can be astounding. My job, though, is "simply" to organize the teachers, make sure we have enough teachers, select the curriculum, and generally oversee the Studio's efficient administration. Still sounds pretty easy, right?

But every Wednesday, there are at least two, normally three or four, teachers (out of nine), who cannot show up for one reason or another, which leaves me the job of finding replacements, praying the remaining teachers will show up, and generally stressing out. With sometimes 110+ kids to teach, I cannot have only four teachers show up!

And so I make some phone calls, send out a few urgent text messages and emails, mutter around the house fretfully, and generally find myself complaining and anxious, all day long...

As I leave the house for church, with at least one child in tow, sometimes all three, I often think to myself, "I JUST CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE!" (Yes, sometimes, I yell to myself.)

Today was Wednesday, and like most Wednesdays, there were a handful of teachers who contacted me with valid reasons they couldn't teach...family reasons, illnesses, and my favorite, no excuse at all...and I handled it as usual--badly. I have an earache and my hubby and boys are sick too, so my patience was already thin.

I decided to make tonight's church excursion just Kya and I and hoped I could duck out early.

We stopped by McDonald's on the way, and we talked about what we would do when we got to church. Kya wore her light up Cinderella dress. Things were good. As I laid out her burger and apple slices on the table at church, I said, "Sorry mommy couldn't make you dinner tonight Kya." Her reply shook me..."It's OK mommy; you were just too stressed out to cook."

The teaching tonight was on the Good Samaritan...serving and loving...the widow's quiet offering which was of utmost value to God...

I had a moment of enlightenment. I have to write about these when they happen because they come so rarely these bleary-eyed days.

My job...my service and act of love for God...is to help organize the Studio teachers. That is my primary function. If no one ever called in sick or needed a sub, my job wouldn't exist. That is my service, so why do I spend an entire day every week stressing out about my service for the Lord? What a poor example I am settting for my children by being anxious about the very service God has called me to perform...and which God ALWAYS blesses.

See, there has never been a Wednesday that God didn't show up at the Studio. He covers us with His grace and mercy and provides for His children better than we ever could. Some weeks, there are only four or five teachers, and yet, the kids learn about God and are safe and happy when they leave. I always come home thankful and impressed that everything worked out despite me. And yet, each week, I still "stress out."

I think maybe next week, I'll rely a little more on God and be thankful when a teacher texts me that they can't make it--after all, that's my OPPORTUNITY to serve Him...to offer up myself, my time, and show our children that service for the Lord is always good, because He covers it with His blessings, grace, and mercy.

And, although bedtimes are a little later on Wednesdays, that usually means everyone might sleep in on Thursday and it definitely means everyone gets a nap on Thursday...even mommy.

I am still praying about my Wednesday night service because it does take quite a lot for our family to prepare, serve, and recover from it all, but tonight I realized, that is what service is about, and, like our tithes and offerings, God blesses us based on how much we give of ourselves.

It's not always easy or fun, but service is not about those things, it's about giving of ourselves, training ourselves, disciplining ourselves, and teaching our kids, to do the right thing, even when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient.

It probably wasn't convenient for the Samaritan to care for the injured man in the road or pay for his hotel stay. It probably was not fun for the widow to give up her last two cents as an offering to God. But those things God treasures most--when we give not from our excess, but from our very last bit...of energy, time, finances, etc.

I gave tonight, and it wasn't my last bit, but it wasn't comfortable. God knows, God sees. God smiles when we serve...especially from our last bit.


Lift Up Your Hearts said...

Man, I feel just the same way on Wednesdays. I'm one of our Awana directors and I do tend to get stressed out, especially when it's my turn to teach. I wonder sometimes if I just flat-out have too much going on, but then I look around me and everyone I know has a busy life. Thanks for the inspiration to really see this as my service to the Lord and give even when it hurts a little!

Rossie said...

My dear friend...you are amazing!! I love ya!! I am learning that if I am consistantly seeking the Lord in the callings He has placed on my life, He always gives me the strength to do them, do them well, and do them with joy. On the other hand, I am lacking a backbone and the ability to say no...therefore some of the things that I do to be a blessing become burdens. It is a lesson I am still learning ;) YOu are so very right, it is not always easy, but when we are in God's will He ALWAYS gives us what we need!
You are such a true example of a servant's heart!! Blessings my friend!