Sister, Let me be your Servant

Originally published Sunday, 08 December 2013.

Why do so many of us find it so hard to let people serve us?


Is it because we like to protect our independence?


Do we like to look like we have it all together, that we don’t need charity?


Has our pride built a wall that blocks people from coming in?


You know how it goes.  You love to make meals for people who are sick, grieving, or have just welcomed a new baby.  You don’t mind offering rides to people who don’t have transportation.  You’ll help out at the school when they ask for volunteers, and you’re serving in church every Sunday.


But as soon as the tables are turned, and people kindly offer to serve you, you brush it off and say, “Oh, it’s okay.  We’re fine.  We’ll manage.”


It’s humbling to accept help, isn’t it?


It’s humbling to acknowledge that you would, in fact, benefit from a meal cooked by someone other than you.


I was put in a similar position after I recently broke my foot.  I was on the couch for twelve days, and our household nearly came to a standstill.


In God’s grace and provision, our church family rose to the occasion and provided us with countless meals.  Others even offered to clean our bathrooms.  Two ladies came and vacuumed our living room and dusted for us.


It was so humbling to have to sit in a chair with my foot up, watching them do the work that I was ‘supposed’ to do.


Yet God provided that opportunity for these women to serve, and they accepted it with hearts overflowing with joy.


If I had said, “No, we’re fine.  We don’t need you to clean our house,” I would’ve deprived them of that opportunity to serve.


Perhaps you know this song:


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.


In the song, the author is asking for permission to serve:  “Let me be your servant.”


Sometimes it takes persistence before our sisters will be persuaded to be served.


But what about you?  Do you need to do what the song says, and pray for the grace to let others serve you?


Sometimes those who are the best at serving are the worst at being served.


What is blocking you from allowing others to serve you?


Not to be served, but to serve


The Bible says that the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.


Obviously we are to follow the example of Christ and desire to serve at every opportunity.  We ought not sit back and be lazy, claiming that others were designed to serve you at your beck and call.


But is it possible that our eagerness to be the ones who serve can sometimes deprive others of the opportunity to do the same?


Today, let’s pray for the grace to serve, and for the grace to let others to the same.