“Here I am, Lord, send me.”
This has been my prayer over the last several years. And there is a great part of me that means every word. But there is also a part of me that says….”send me, but don’t send me THERE.”
You see, I want to serve my Jesus, but most of the time, I want to control where, when, how, and whom I serve.
A couple of years ago, Todd sent me a video made by a famous Christian artist who talked about humble service, and the basic gist was this:
“If you aren’t willing to hold a toilet brush, you have no business holding a microphone.”
My first thought was this: “WHEW!! I’m glad Todd’s the one who holds the microphone in our family.”
Then God reminded me of the ministries he has called me to. Almost every single one of them requires me to put myself in front of people; either in person, on social media, or via phone.
His reminder sparked a question from the depths of my prideful heart….are you REALLY willing to serve me no matter what it looks like, Nichole?
I knew the answer wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Because I knew there were times when I wanted the platform. Times when I wanted someone to tell me what a great speech, blog, presentation, teaching, or conversation that was because I wanted validation. And I wanted the glory.
During the months I wrestled with this, we began serving with a homeless ministry that provides hot meals and showers for our homeless friends each Saturday. We love the heart of service in this ministry and we were (and still are) thrilled to be involved.
We were serving one Saturday and the ministry was very shorthanded. We were serving in the back where the showers are and once the last person finished showering, there were only few volunteers left to get the church cleaned and back in order. I knew what God was going to ask me to do.
He was asking me to clean the bathrooms.
Y’all. I am a germaphobe. And I have a compromised immune system. And, well, just YUCK!
But God already knew all this. Surprisingly enough, I did it with a good attitude because when I woke that morning, I prayed God would give me opportunities to serve Him and I found myself grateful that I recognized this opportunity and was willing to take it.
So I donned four pairs of plastic gloves and got to work. And as I was cleaning the last of four bathrooms, it hit me.
I was holding a toilet brush.
In that beautiful moment, I knew God was aligning my heart with His. His grace surgery was cutting away the pride in my heart. And it was Him who got every ounce of the glory.
The opportunities God has placed in front of me since then just overwhelm me with gratitude. I am grateful for a God who loves me enough to not leave me the same. I am grateful that although He has worked wonders in my heart, He also nudges me to be sure my heart is aligned with His on each and every assignment, no matter whether I am holding a microphone or a toilet brush.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
Father God, thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you that you love us too much to leave us where we are. Give us hearts that are aligned with yours and let all we think, say and do glorify you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen