A few weeks ago, my husband had a day off work. So, as a treat for me, he drove my older girls to school and picked them up when it was done. When he arrived home at the end of their day, he asked me, “Do you realize you spend 1-1/2 hours of your day driving to school, waiting in line, driving home and then doing it all over again?”
Do I realize? Oh yeah, do I ever!
There are parts of my every day that seem unimportant and yet time-intensive, of little value and yet essential for life, easily overlooked and yet totally overwhelming if left undone.
Like doing dishes. I washed every dish this morning and stood back to admire my empty sink and clean counters. Then, I fed my children breakfast and lunch and baked some goodies for Bible Study. I had happy children, hopefully happy ladies at Bible Study, and full sinks.
Last night I washed every piece of clothing, towel and bedding that exists in my home and placed them all neatly washed, dried and folded into everyone’s drawers. But today, because we are not nudists, we put on new clothes that will need to be washed—-again.
I’m a task-oriented, to-do list making, productivity kind of person. If I realize I’m not accomplishing enough of the items on my to-do list, I just add in the things I’ve done that weren’t on the list. So what if I didn’t get around to scheduling that appointment. I did do laundry, make lunches, exercise and answer emails. Check, check, check, and check. It makes all these little things seem more important somehow when they appear on my official list with a check mark next to them.
All of these daily tasks are totally essential to life. They are acts of service for my family, who I love, and the opportunity for me to pour myself out to them every day, hopefully reflecting Christ in my humility and selflessness.
Or they are a reason to whine and complain and feel pretty unimportant in this world.MIaca
It just depends on my focus and my attitude. Even the daily can become worship if I’m doing it for God.
Sometimes I watch my favorite Christian teachers speak to arenas full of women and read the bestselling books of my favorite authors and feel like my everyday acts of service seem unimpressive. So, I washed dishes. These ladies ministered to 10,000 people at one sitting. I drove my kids to school. That person spent 6 months in Asia helping orphans.
In Micah 6:6-8, the prophet writes:
With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
God doesn’t overlook our everyday. He sees us at work when we do our best, not for earthly glory, but because we want to please Him. He sees us at home as we make meals, place Band-Aids on scratches, and help with homework. He sees us when we visit the nursing home even though it isn’t an “official” ministry in the church. All of these are ways to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
And that is what He is asking us to do. He isn’t look for elaborate offerings of fame and worldly success. He is looking for cheerful obedience to serve where He has called us to serve at this moment in our lives.
The Bible is filled with the stories of prophets, kings, apostles, and angels, but in one brief moment in the Bible, we get a glimpse of a simple woman serving Christ in practical and essential ways. Luke 8:1-3 says:
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means (NIV).
If you blinked while you read that, you might have missed her–Susanna, one of the women who helped support Jesus and his followers as they traveled all over preaching the gospel. Was her ministry high profile? Not at all. Was she personally impacting the massive crowds that gathered around Jesus? It’s unlikely they knew she existed.
Yet, she kept on ministering to those practical, oh-so-essential needs of her Savior. It must have been hard work and often overlooked. She may at times have struggled with being the one washing dishes while the disciples prayed with people in the crowd. But she didn’t give up. She just kept on serving. It was an act of worship, this daily ministry of life and it is the same for us in our homes, in our churches, in our communities and at our jobs.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King
2 thoughts on “What Does the Lord Require?”
I laugh when I think about the list thing. I’m so about adding to my list just so that I can check it off…
I try to use that “empty” time productively. While sitting in lines, it is a good time to read the Bible, or pray, or do a Cryptogram or Soduko – an absolute must for sanity! LOL