Whose Serve Is It?

Brother, let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

We are pilgrims on a journey.
We are brothers on the road.
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, let me be your servant.
Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant, too.

 

Have you ever prayed for the grace to allow others to serve you? Have you ever prayed God would put you in a place where you would need to ask for help? I don’t think many have thought about this, much less prayed this way. Besides the fact that we don’t pray for trials to lower us where we would need others, we are a fiercely independent people. I remember every single one of my toddlers repeating at one time or another, “I do it myself, Mommy!” Most of us sense that deep desire for autonomy, either in being quiet and by ourselves, or by loudly proclaiming, “I can do it!”

 

So now I address you as Excellent Wives in Training. Most of you are married. Likely most of you have children. Lord willing, most of you are believers. Are we allowed, by Biblical standards, to loudly or inwardly proclaim, “I can do it myself”?

 

Sister, the answer is “No.” We are not called to autonomy. We are not called to total self-reliance. Christ summarized the law in these two points, “Love God and love others.”  We are to die to self and live in self-sacrificing love for our God in obeying His commands and in laying down our lives for others.

 

“Great!” You may say. I am happy to serve others and give of myself for others and help a sister out. But what about when you need to be served? When you need to be helped out? Are you saying “Great!” then?

 

We are reminded of the great truth, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” If we truly believe this, then we should not seek to get all the blessings for ourselves and not allow others the blessings of giving. If you refuse to let others serve you, you are taking their blessing, their joy, their dying-to-self sanctification, away from them. When believers come together and meet one another’s needs, that sweet interdependence binds their hearts together. There are many “one another” passages in the Bible. So many commands on how we are to love and serve one another. Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ,” and Romans 12:10-13, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;  not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”  This is all null and void if there are no receivers.  We need to be the servers, and the ones others get to serve.

 

William Law, a Christian writer from the 1600’s wrote, “Receive every inward or outward trouble, every disappointment, every darkness and desolation with both your hands, as a blessed occasion of dying to self, and entering into a fuller fellowship with your Savior. Look at no inward or outward trouble in any other way; reject every thought about it; and then every kind of trial and distress will become the blessed day of your prosperity.”

 

Prosperity could be the riches of being served by another. Let another obey Christ in giving; while you obey Christ by receiving.  Perhaps God has put you in different situations in which you could “pull up your own bootstraps and do it yourself,” or you also could let others know of your needs. Or maybe you have shared a situation with others who have offered to help, and you’ve turned them down. Perhaps you are really battling with pride in your heart. You don’t want others to see you in need, you don’t want to “inconvenience” others busy lives, you don’t think you are low enough to ask for help. But is it possible you really are? Is it possible you can give others the blessing of giving and serving when you aren’t at rock bottom? Perhaps the mutual giving and receiving of “bearing one another’s burdens” is a daily obedience to fulfilling the law of Christ by loving God and loving others in being humble, and, if I may coin a new word, “helpable.”

 

Joni Erickson Tada has spent 50 years as a paraplegic in a wheelchair seeking to bless others and be an encouragement through her total dependence upon others. She has no choice but to be a moment by moment receiver. Every action of her body below her neck is completely in the hands of her caregivers. I was struck years ago to hear of how her goal was to be a blessing to every person that came to care for her. She calls this, “The beauty of being a burden.”

 

JR Miller says it this way, “Yet you have seen friendship equal even to such sore and costly test. You have seen husbands who live for invalid wives; and wives for broken-down husbands. You have seen whole households devoted to an invalid brother or sister. Even outside of the home and family circle, you have seen friendships that never faltered nor wavered under burdens that could not grow less. There are indeed holy human friendships whose beauty and splendor remind us, amid the world’s selfishness and hardness, that fragments of God’s image yet exist even in fallen lives, and that it is possible to restore the heavenly luster. Blessed are they to whom God gives for friends, such rare people — unselfish and holy!”

 

Likely you are not in such a place as being completely “broken-down” or fully dependent on another for your every single need. And so, how much more is it an obedience of your will to place yourself humbly under God’s commands to both bear others burdens and let them bear yours. Friend, there is so much joy and humility born in your heart when you get to a place where you can be a gracious receiver. Are you willing to be a working, moving part of the body of Christ that allows others to know you well enough to help you in your times of need? Do you share with those around you your joys and sorrows that they can serve you at times, without your need for reciprocation? It would truly be inconceivable for “a body” to work best for Christ if its parts were hurting without ministry from “helping hands.” This is the Law of Christ. This is living His agape, dying-to-self love. This is true humility.

 

 

“Pray that I might have the grace, to let you be my servant, too.”

“The Servant Song” Richard Gillard Copyright © 1977 Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publ. (ASCAP) (adm. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) All rights reserved.