The beginning of a new year always brings about a natural time for reflection. A new year is usually embraced with hope, plans, and an innermost desire for something better. As an individual, I embrace each new year with the expectancy of what our Father will teach, reveal, and work in my own life and the lives of my loved ones. As a pastor, my scope grows wider as I look to the “Great I Am” for His presence and handiwork in the midst of His people. As a collective body of believers facing the challenges 2020 and 2021 brought upon our nation and the world, we can all reflect on the bigger picture. Yes, it has been difficult! But amazingly, the Almighty has challenged us as well. He has placed us at the crossroads of facing adversity with a servant’s heart.
Why crossroads? Because serving others is always intimate and personal. It is a decision born out of the love poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). During these difficult times, we have been given a choice. The choice to wallow in our own despair and needs, or to alleviate the despair and suffering of others. It is “others” that is always at the heart of our Messiah. He taught us to serve and give ourselves, even as he did (Mt 20:26-28). In this light, the past couple years have been precisely a test of servanthood and selflessness. A test lovingly accepted by many, who have, therefore, experienced firsthand what it means to face adversity with a servant’s heart.
Ministries are, of course, called to do community outreach. Over the past two years, I have witnessed believers taking on this role, over and beyond. I have seen selfless sharing of personal supplies and finances to help others who have lost jobs. I have seen them leave their comfort zone to take care of someone who is ill, and reach out to those who have lost loved ones during the Pandemic. I have seen amazing love being poured out as compassion and prayer have been at the core of personal outreach. I have witnessed so much spiritual growth as believers have grounded themselves in the Word in order to bring peace and hope to their families and to others. I have observed congregational teachers growing in their understanding of Scripture, digging deeper, in order to bring a timely message. I have witnessed how prayer, prayer, and more prayer has been key. Superficial prayer is out the window! These challenging times have brought us into a deeper relationship and love to our Father, our Messiah, our families, and one another inside the Body of Christ and out. This past year has been an amazing journey of selfless servanthood!
Servanthood has thus taken on the face of generosity, care of others, spiritual growth expressing itself in compassionate prayer, and helping others build their faith so they can find comfort in the Father, in Scripture, and in knowing they are not alone in their struggle. Servanthood has taken on the face of a closer relationship to our Father, as His redeemed seek to express His compassion to others. These are no small things. These are expressions of the greatness of the Kingdom. These are ways to be useful in times of trouble. These are ways to keep facing the adversity that still lies ahead in 2022. May the Almighty help us as we journey through a new year of challenges. May we continue to face adversity with a servant’s heart for the sake of others and for love of the Kingdom!
...the past couple years have been precisely a test of servanthood and selflessness. A test lovingly accepted by many, who have, therefore, experienced firsthand what it means to face adversity with a servant's heart.
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Pastor Flor M. Díaz
Pastor Flor M. Diaz is a supporting Partner of BibleInteract. We thank her for sharing this profound message!