I came back from a brief vacation of visiting my husband’s family last weekend to find a message in my office voice mail. It was from a gentleman that visited me last week right before I left. He was giving me an update on some things he had going on and he finished his message by thanking me for all that I did. I smiled as I was glad for his good news, but then I was puzzled. What had I done exactly?
When he called unexpectedly and wanted to come by my office, I said sure. When he just wanted to talk some things out, I listened. When he wanted prayer, I prayed. But all the while I was just a vessel. I was just doing what God called me to, what God wants me to do. I could not take credit for the good that was done. I wanted to call him back and thank him for his generous words, but explain that it was God, not me. Somehow it seemed inappropriate. Both that I get credit and that I not give God the glory. I sat in my chair thinking about what to do. Before I knew it I was praying, thanking God for the good that this man had experienced and hoping that he would continue to experience God’s grace. I prayed that he would know somewhere in his being that it was God that was so good and thank God just as he thanked me.
How often does that happen? That someone thinks it’s me when it wasn’t, it isn’t. When I preach, when I teach, when I pray do others think this is all me? I know it’s not. I hope that others do too. Then it seemed so strange to have gotten upset when I just received good news. I should be happy, rejoicing with him, not bogged down in the details and theological concerns. I know that it’s about God. God knows I know that. It is one of the signs that we are maturing in faith, when we realize that the good we accomplish is not about us as people. It’s not about our talents, our gifts. It’s about our willingness to be vessels for Jesus Christ. Our willingness to replicate the pouring out of self that Christ modeled in his ministry and death. The words and meaning behind the Last Supper and the sacrament of Holy Communion. Poured out for you and for many…
“Drink Offering” by Barry Donaldson, Firescribe.