When I got up this morning, I was feeling totally exhausted from the week, grumpy and had long lists of things to do and it had to be done now! I had forgotten about a church potluck the next day until my daughter told me on Facebook that there was one. Being I was in charge of the flower arranging and candles for the tables along with bringing a meat dish and dessert, I really started to feel sorry for myself. I still had to buy groceries, gas the car up, wash the car, wash the gigantic pile of dishes left from the night before, wash my clothes and quickly write another woman to pick up the tablecloths, spoons, forks, and napkins, which I had stored in someone else’s barn. I just didn’t want to do anything that day. My body ached. My back was sore. All I wanted to do was to go back to sleep. Do you know what I mean? Do you ever have those sort of days, when you would just rather take a bubble bath and relax or crawl up under some snuggly covers and sleep all day?
Well, I grudgingly got my coat on, yelled at the dog and told her to behave herself while I was gone, walked out of the house, slammed the door and grumbled all the way to the cold cold car. I don’t know, it must have been 25 degrees out there. Did all of my errands except for one last stop before finally heading back home.
Now this store is a store that has 40% of their prices lowered because they basically put the cut boxes sideways and you pick them out. Because their prices were so low, I really appreciate that particular store. You could tell though that many that frequent that store were the poor of the neighborhood. Still grumbling that I had to walk over and grab a cold shopping cart in its pot-hole filled parking lot, I then proceeded into the store, not looking up to see anyone lest I had to put on a fake smile.
Well, I grumbled through the store, feeling like I was going to faint, hadn’t had breakfast and was exhausted when I saw this old little lady pushing a cart down the aisle. This store, mind you, doesn’t have those fancy electric carts for those with handicaps who need them, so she didn’t have one. She was horribly thin and had a sideways limp. Her head was jerking from side to the side continually, and it took two or three times to be able for her to pick something up and place it where she wanted it in the cart. The shoppers looked the other direction when they saw her, not wanting to stare in disbelief or not knowing what to say to her. I’ve seen people who had this sort of mental disease that affected their coordination, and I wondered how did this woman manage by herself? I wondered, how could I have felt sorry for myself? I began to be appreciative of my “health,” being able to feed myself and very easily be able to get around, not having to depend on anyone else to keep me from falling. It took that much for me to realize that I had been complaining, when I should have been thankful to even have a mind that could contemplate what I needed at the store. I felt ashamed of myself.
After paying for my groceries I walked back into the parking lot. Usually my husband and I bring the shopping cart back into its cart bin, because that way it keeps our prices low; but today I was in a hurry and I thought, ‘I always do this and I’m not feeling that great today. I’ll just leave it here, when from the corner of my eye I saw an elderly lady with a cane, limping from side to side pushing her cart back into the bin with one hand. Then I saw her driver pull over beside her to pick her up. Why would someone with a disability such as hers want to help out when everyone would expect her to leave it for someone else to do?
Then I began to think of Christ and His humility. He came here to serve and not to be served. He came to this earth to die for us, so that we might live. He took the beatings, the mocking, and torture so that we wouldn’t have to stand in death’s row, to be put to shame. Did He have to? Couldn’t He have given that to someone else to do instead of Himself, besides one might think, he worked so hard to be sinless to win the battle against Satan. It couldn’t have been easy, seeing He had people continually falsely accusing him and taunting him.
I began thinking, these are the people Christ came to die for to heal, not only their spiritual minds, but their mental disabilities and physical ailments. He wants us to follow in His footsteps, walk as He walked, serve as He served, think as He thought – love as He loved – even unto death. He didn’t have to, but He left an example for us to follow and He says in His Word “Be ye thankful” and offer “the sacrifice of praise” in all circumstances of our life.
Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Collossians 2:7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
So, that day once again God taught me a lesson, answered a prayer that I had been asking about humility in a way that I could have never done myself. I am thankful that God always answers prayers in ways that we could never do by just reading a book or hearing it in a sermon on the Sabbath. So, today I’m thankful for God’s lessons in humility. I pray that I remember those women every time I pick up a shopping cart. Has God shown you in ways you weren’t expecting? I would love to hear from you.
For Today: Father, help us to see this day an opportunity to serve when we don’t “feel’ like serving. Your Son has shown us an example of humble service. He did it when He didn’t have to – served when He wasn’t asked to. When He died on the cross, He cried, “Father forgive them.” He still was serving on the cross when He didn’t have to. Help us today to remember the Passover to become like Him more and more each day. For in sacrificing, we learn the lesson you sent Him to teach us – How to love as our elder Brother. Amen