I watched him worshiping from my seat in a pew further back in the sanctuary. We were all singing the closing song but he was joyous, I could tell that even from my considerable distance from where he was and despite the fact that I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I didn’t need them to see clearly what was taking place before my eyes.
It was more than just his outstretched arms and uplifted face that gave him away. He moved about singing, clapping, offering his hand and hugs and his very heart to those fellow worshipers seated near him. I watched him freely bestowing his hugs of encouragement, of affirmation, of acceptance, of love to any and all that he could reach. Aren’t we all looking for those very things? And this man was freely giving these things and so much more with each and every hug.
Some would say he’s a simple man, limited in this life. I can’t understand his speech but I can hear his heart. He is not influential nor important by our cultural standards. I know him to be a faithful and loving father in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances. A lesser man could not have stayed the course as he has done. He is faithful in his Sunday worship as well, blessing the rest of us by his presence. His joy in knowing Jesus is overflowing and contagious.
We are told in God’s word that to whom much is given, much is required. Now it doesn’t seem to me that this man was given much of anything in this life. But he gives all of himself freely and fully to God in worship every Sunday. He holds nothing back from God nor from others. What a joyful servant he is.
Watching him worship today, I had to ask myself; considering the abundance I’ve been given by my Creator, am I giving freely for God all that He’s entrusted me with? Am I using every gift and ability He’s given me for His glory and to lift others up? God has given me so much, but for a reason. Why would I hold anything back? “To whom much is given much is required”, continues to echo in my mind as I write this. This gentleman taught me something today without speaking a single word. No words were required, his actions said it all.
Give it all for God, hold nothing back for yourself. (after all, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his own soul? Mark 8:36) My fellow worshiper hasn’t been given much but he offers all that he is up to God and then some. He will hear “well done, good and faithful servant”. He is last but he will be first, he is the least of these, he is who Christ came to seek and to save. He has been found and is showing others the way. He has found his highest calling in Christ alone. Oh that I would not grow weary in living out my calling as he does, holding nothing back.
Complete trust, complete obedience, resulting in complete joy now and in the age to come. Thank you dear brother in Christ, for fulfilling your God-given purpose here on earth and blessing those of us who know you in the process.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” (I Corinthians 1:27-29)
sincerely, Grace Day