It has often been said that when you focus on a task outside of or bigger than yourself, said acts of kindness tend to assist you in forgetting that which hampered you in the first place. It is in this vein that we will continue our series How to Survive the Holidays as a Single Person as we explore the act of serving. The Bible is full of examples of service and how through said service generations have been saved and/or calamity averted.
One such example was that of the Widow of Zeraphath who, after she had finished gathering sticks, told the prophet Elijah that she was going home to cook a final meal for her and her son and that after that they were going to die. She had nothing left. Despite her destitute state however, Elijah requested a jar of water and a piece of bread from the widow. He also commanded her not to be afraid for he had prophesied that if she acquiesced to his command her jar of flour would not be used up, nor her jug of oil run dry. Fortunately for her, the Widow of Zaraphath did as she was asked and prepared and served Elijah his meal. Because of her service, Elijah’s prophecy was fulfilled and God’s promise of overflow made manifest (1 Kings 17:7-16). Because the Widow of Zaraphath focused on a cause outside of herself, feeding a stranger, her immediate issue of hunger and lack was solved, her food sources restored indefinitely.
Another biblical example of service can be found in 1 Samuel 25 where Abigail, wife of Nabal, utilized wisdom and hospitality to avert bloodshed after her husband refused David and his men sustenance. Instead of allowing Nabal’s disrespect to stand, Abigail secretly gathered bread, meat, grain, cakes, and wine to personally deliver the meal to King David and his men. Upon her arrival, Abigail bowed down and kneeled in front of David to apologize on her husband’s behalf. Moved by both her hospitality as well as by her humility, King David ultimately accepted the food and subsequent apology. Because of Abigail’s service, bloodshed was averted. When Abigail’s husband died some time later, King David sent for Abigail to become his wife. This made possible not because of Abigail’s physical appearance or her beauty, but rather because she served him and did so in excellence.
Eclipsing both examples Jesus himself said, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV). Now, if Jesus has set the principle of service as a way to attain spiritual promotion, why don’t more of us serve? More so, if Jesus has set the bar of service as giving His life so that all could be saved, what is our excuse? Jesus’ examples of healing the sick, casting out demons, meeting the needs of others, and actively creating disciples should be the catalyst upon which we strive to accept His call of service in our lives.
Consequently, there are no shortages of volunteer opportunities during the holiday season. Food drives, gift drives, coat and blanket drives, organized ministry, evangelical opportunities, and soup kitchens all have exponential needs placed upon them during this time. Why not offer your gift of time, your talents, and/or your finances to organizations such as these? In meeting the most desperate needs of others your joy will be restored and your feelings of loneliness quenched as you interact with those less fortunate than you. In the grand scheme of things, who knows which generations might be saved at your hands, what catastrophe averted, or what kingdom connection made as a result of your decision to serve, and to do so in excellence? Make a commitment to serve today, Beloved. The fruit of your efforts may surprise you.
It is my prayer for you that you will seek to serve others this holiday season. It is my prayer that in serving others you will find the joy reserved only for those who help their fellow man. As you serve, I pray that your service will set spiritual wheels in motion for your spiritual as well as physical promotion. Finally, as you meet the needs of others while coming to their assistance, it is my prayer that your needs will supernaturally met as well. I pray this prayer in one other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Alleluia!
Know that I love you, all
Red Shoes and Service in Excellence,
Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes