First published December 22, 2011:
The beginning of this week was a little stressful. We had something pretty much every night this week. Of course, this would have to be the week that all of our kids got sick. I was out of the oils that I would use both to prevent these sicknesses and to fight them if they happened. So the kids ended up taking medicine again. Poor Colin got an ear infection. His cry of pain was different than the cry of when his sister kicks him, a cry that pierced my soul because I used to get ear infections all the time and I know how they feel. I was wrestling with feelings of being inconvenienced mixed with the emotion of not wanting my child to suffer so. Tuesday night we had to cancel our final training meeting to become table leaders at FUSE (I wonder who wants to prevent that from happening). Wednesday we had plans to bless a single mom as a table group and I said I would do the main dish. I generally like to challenge myself with food so I decided to do a ham from scratch, something I had never done before. I had to figure out how to cook it though, since I would have to work on Wednesday, so I decided on the slow cooker. With all of the distractions of sick kids on Tuesday, I didn’t check to see if that would even work. So, of course, when I went to put it in the slow cooker Wednesday morning, it didn’t fit. It stuck out of the top by about 4 inches. Being a bone in ham, there was nothing I could really do about it. So I asked Lena to bring our roasting pan back from her parents house so I could come all the way back home from work and put it in the oven so it would have enough time to cook. I admittedly was nervous about the ham, because I had never cooked one before and I wasn’t really going off of a recipe, I was making one up (I now believe that recipe was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but more on that later)
So he decided to go with a laundry list of problems this week, huh? No. I know the first half of this post was a lot to read, but I had to set up the scene for the blessing.
Needless to say, Wednesday morning I was in a funk. A pretty good funk. I wasn’t in a bad mood or even angry, I was just emotional. Colin went to the doctor and had a full blown ear infection, I had a lot to cook, and I really didn’t want to be in a funk when we went to bless that woman. I wanted to enjoy blessing someone else. So how do I get out of this funk, Lord?
When I went home to put the ham in the oven at lunch, I parked the car and saw one of our neighbors and her mom pulling groceries out of the car, a lot of them. I didn’t really have time to stop because I had to get the ham in the oven and get back to work, but I was compelled to go. I don’t even know those neighbors very well, though I say hi to them every time I see them. But I’ve been praying for a way to get to know our neighbors, and my first new years resolution in a long time is exactly that, to get to know our neighbors. So I saw the opportunity to serve Jesus and maybe open a door to getting to know them and I went over and asked if I could help carry the groceries. The daughter said I could carry the water that was still in the car and I told her to pile it on. She gave me the water and some soda to carry and I carried it to her apartment, where her dad greeted me and took it out of my hands, extremely appreciative. All of them were. They actually seemed a little beside themselves. And here’s the miracle, I was instantly out of my funk for the rest of the day. I had a couple of moments maybe, but that heavy feeling that I felt all morning was gone. I then realized that the Lord knew exactly what I needed and set it up. Those two women could have come home at any time during the day, even one minute earlier or later would have made things different because I was in such a hurry. They came home at exactly the right time that I would be pulling up and see them and be able to help them. It was a setup. The Lord set me up. And I’m so glad He did.
It’s amazing what serving can do. Jesus tells us constantly to be servants, and I don’t think it’s just for the people we are serving. It’s healing to our souls as well. Everything came together for me that day, and we were able to really bless a family in need. The woman’s mother was overwhelmed that we were coming to serve in that way. And the ham, oh the ham. People raved about it. Everybody wanted the recipe. That was more uplifting than it may have been to the average person because I love cooking and haven’t had a chance to do it as much as I would like, or at least to experiment and learn the way I used to. Usually I get premarinated meat or anything else that’s fast and easy so dinner is ready on time. It’s not very often I get to experiment and come up with ideas of my own and make them. Experimentation could go either way for even a professional chef, which I am not. So the Lord blessed me with that affirmation also. What started out as a pretty rough day turned out to be amazing, all because I had my eyes opened and took the opportunity the Holy Spirit put in front of me.
So next time you’re in a funk, find a way to serve someone. It’s the best medicine. It takes you out of yourself and makes you others minded again.
May the Lord bless you all this Christmas season.