Serving Others: Choose a Thankful Heart

serving

I love how God works. He takes my plans and, if I’m willing, changes them, giving me opportunities to use the lessons He teaches through His Word. This week, He gave several chances for serving Him unexpectedly.

I’m in the middle of studying Philippians through a study from Love God Greatly. Each day I read a passage and use the SOAP method. Scripture: write out the passage. Observation: what do I observe when I read the Scripture. Application: how does this passage apply to me? What lessons do I learn and how do I apply those lessons to my own life? Prayer: Pray the Scripture and my response to God.

Last week I read a verse I know well,

…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)

In the application part of my response, I wrote, Pay attention to what God puts in front of me. He has a plan prepared exclusively for me. I need to be open to what God wants instead of what I think I should do. When He asks me to do things I don’t feel prepared or equipped to do, He provides what I need. The good works help not only others but help transform me into who God created me to be.

Unexpected Chances for Serving Others

Last week, Van went to Mexico with a group from our church to build a house with the organization 1Mission. I planned on writing, playing, and resting. Having what I call a “Debbie Days,”

What I didn’t plan was serving others. But when I checked my email, I read a plea for people to help with childcare for Vital Moms. I spent many years working in children’s ministry but the longer I taught professionally, the less patience I felt for little ones in my free time. “No way,” I thought and closed the email. But I didn’t delete it.

That email kept floating through my mind. I knew I had the time. They only needed help from 8:30-11:30; the rest of the day belonged to me. Last Thursday, I sat on the floor and sang Bible songs, put pegs into boards, played catch, and held a tired 3-year-old on my lap.

I loved every minute.

Yesterday, a new friend called to say she couldn’t make it to our time together reading and discussing Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts. The doctor took off the cast on her arm and replaced it with a sling. She was in pain and felt overwhelmed by the tasks she couldn’t do.

Just the day before I made a pot of navy bean soup. I took some of that soup, a basket of cornbread, and a salad so my friend wouldn’t have to cook. And I helped her with her laundry. She could get the clothes in the washer and dryer, but couldn’t manipulate the hangers.

We enjoyed fellowship working together in her closet, laughing about similar tastes and sharing the gifts God gives.

God Blesses Me through Serving

More times than I can count, others enrich my life by reaching out and helping me, being the hands and feet of Jesus when I need Him most. How can I ignore the good works God planned for me?

I’m thankful God provided a different plan and I paid attention. Because I was open to what God wanted instead of just what I thought I should do, He blessed me with laughter, fellowship, and fun I would have missed if I stayed focused only on myself.

What good works has God planned for you? How is He giving you the opportunity to serve? And what blessing does He give when you respond? Share your story in the comments.

serving

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Author: Debbie Putman

I am a child of God, seeking to trust Him in every joy and sorrow. Sharing my walk is my husband, Van. God blessed me with two beautiful daughters and three delightful grandchildren. I teach seventh grade English and History, love to read and bake cookies, watch the birds in my backyard, and the ocean.

5 thoughts on “Serving Others: Choose a Thankful Heart”

  1. Loved reading your unexpected serving opportunities, Debbie. He’s so good to bless us through serving. We’re there to bless, but he always manages to bless our hearts simultaneously. He’s so good like that. 🙂

  2. Love your response to Philippians 1:6 and your openness to seeing how God was leading you, Debbie! Great reminder that when we follow His leading, He blesses us in ways we never expected. Thank you for the encouragement to be His hands and feet!

    1. Thank you, Crystal. I am loving retirement and the time I have to do more things. And I love the nudges God gives when He has something for me to do. Praying I listen and follow through when He calls!

  3. Oh, you are a basketful of encouragement this morning, Debbie. After reading your words, I decided to put my own in the air, a prayer asking God how I can help today, what His plans are for this day. Thank you for being a light. #chasingcommunity

Thank you for joining me on my journey with God in uncharted water. Please let me know how He is working in your life.