It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a “doormat” under other people’s feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased…” (Philippians 4:12). Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket— to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served?
Gulp. It feels like I am blindsided every time I open up this year’s devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. Oswald Chambers, how could you know? Especially since you died a hundred years ago.
I am a missionary, in my 10th year of working with many unwanted, unloved, and disadvantaged children and families in a slum outside San Jose, Costa Rica. People look at me and tell me “you do amazing work” all the time. It’s easy to let such comments go to my head.
I also struggle–as a single woman in a foreign land–with a sense of belonging. Most of the time I feel like I definitely don’t fit in, or that others don’t allow a place for me in their world. So, being noticed gives me a somewhat fleeting significance.
This is not what God wants for me. He does not want me to turn heads, receive accolades, or to be remembered over a lifetime. He wants me to serve him… rejoicing even as I am entirely used up. (Philippians 2:17)
I guarantee I am not going to get this right most days, but I am ready for a change this year. Here’s my subsequent conversation with God….borrow it if you’d like. I know He would like to hear from you.
“Father God, forgive me. You know how self-centered I am, and how much I want to be noticed by others and told “well done.” Change me, Lord, from the inside out. Teach me the way of your suffering servant. Teach me to pour myself out to YOU, not to others around me. Fill me with joy, whatever menial task I face, and most especially when no one takes notice of me. Make me willing to be utterly forgettable, if it means that you receive the glory.”