“But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 (HCSB)
Jane knew that her long list of things to accomplish for the day wouldn’t give her much time for herself. So sitting on the soft leather couch in the waiting area at the hair salon, she thought maybe she could find a few moments to read a book. Yet, no sooner had that thought crossed her mind than an elderly woman comes through the door and slowly sits down next to her. She disregards Jane’s immersion in her book and begins to explain all the aches and pains she is suffering. Jane lifts her head occasionally from her book to politely acknowledge the woman but tries her best to focus on the precious few moments she has to enjoy reading. Then the woman asks if she has a good doctor she goes to! So Jane puts her book on her lap and begins to tell her about the doctor she sees…
This scenario happens every day. Sometimes God interrupts our time so that His purposes may be accomplished. The question we should ask ourselves is this: Do we interpret those interruptions as God’s will or as a nuisance? There can be two ways to continue this story. One: Jane could be irritated that she didn’t get her “me time” and miss the opportunity to tell the woman about the Great Physician. Two: she could set aside her time and talk to a person in need of God’s love and be available for whatever God may be doing in that moment. As believers, we must be ready, selfless, and available to share the love of Christ with others – in word and in deed.
Paul is a great example of living a selfless life for Christ. In Acts 20 he is on his way back to Jerusalem for the celebration of Pentecost. His life is in jeopardy there because many Jews are against him preaching the Gospel. To this he states, in verse twenty-four, that Jesus has sent him out to testify about the Gospel and he must not think about his own value. He is willing to sacrifice his life for the Kingdom of God. When Paul was in Philip’s house in Caesarea, the Christians pleaded for him not to go to Jerusalem. He says to them in Act 21:13, “…What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus (HCSB).” He was ready to be obedient to God’s will no matter the cost.
What would you do if it were you in the story instead of Jane? Would you have been willing to set aside your perfectly scheduled plans? Would you have sacrificed your time lovingly for this woman’s eternal destiny? Ask yourself this: Are you ready for God’s interruptions? Be aware of the opportunities around you for the Holy Spirit to do His work through you. Be willing to sacrifice your “me time”, close your book, and be available for others God brings into your day. It’s not always easy to do but, thankfully, you can ask God to help you be selfless and obedient to His will for you each day. Truly… it’s not about you.
By Carol Jones