Recently my family enjoyed watching three of my grand nephews/nieces take their first steps across the living room floor. It was quite exciting and the family celebrated with cheers of exuberance. It is a great joy watching little ones on the path to maturity in the big world.
I am sure it is a great excitement as well for parents to watch their children pass various milestones in their lives: first steps, first words, potty training, the first day of school, maybe even the first kiss, and even matrimony. It is the joy of a parent to celebrate such achievements in the child’s life, but it is of particular joy when a child approaches the stage of maturity in life when he or she says for the first time, “Can I help?” What a treasure when the child finally realizes that the world is not all about him or her, but that he or she has been given the opportunity to help others. The sad part is when a child never realizes that the world could use some of the gifts they have to offer, but rather thinks that the world is only here to perpetually serve them.
I wonder if God sees us that way; I suspect that He does. What a joy it is to see us take our first spiritual steps, to gain momentum and to begin walking in stride, trusting in God. What an even greater reward for Him to see us arrive at a place where we turn to Him and say, “Can I help, Lord? What can I do for you today? How can I give back to You?” And yet, what a discouragement it must be to have some of His children constantly complaining for more, unsatisfied and self-absorbed, even after all He continues to lavish upon us.
Reminds me of the children of God, the Israelites…they never really grew up or got beyond bottle-feeding. They just refused to grow up. In fact, I think there are still quite a few of God’s children still looking to be served by God, when they should be seeking how they can serve him. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” God expects us to grow up, to recognize our gifts and to serve Him by serving others.
It’s Mother’s Day. I am certain your mother has invested considerable time in serving you. It is a good day to appreciate your Mom. If she’s still around, call her up and tell her you appreciate her and the many ways she has served you. Then, ask her what you can do for her. How can you be of service to her?
Better yet, follow that up by asking the Lord what you can do for Him today. Tell Him you appreciate all that He has done for you. I am sure He will be thrilled to hear from you. But I think He will be even more pleased to see the maturity in you evidenced by a desire to think outside of yourself, when you say, “Can I help, Lord?”
[The Shepherd’s Echo is a previously published TheShepherdsPen]