Written by Janet Mueller - Heartland Church - Fort Wayne, IN
Illustrated by Rhonda Logan Bailey
“Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:7 NIV
When I was laid up with a fractured wrist, there were some things I simply could not do. So I called a friend, who came and cleaned my house from top to bottom. This dear one brought more than her cleaning service — she brought joy. We talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company. When she left, I had so much more than clean floors. I had a happy heart.
My friend has the gift of helps, that is, the gift of service. She is most satisfied and content when she is able to provide assistance to someone, often in practical ways. This spiritual gift is frequently thought of as ordinary, mundane, or even boring. However, the truth is those who are endowed with the gift of helps share in the work of the Holy Spirit, who is also known as The Helper. You are most like THE Helper when you are assisting someone else. This elevates the gift of helps to the divine status it holds.
Have you ever made a big mess of things and just needed help cleaning up? Or maybe everything in your life and home has become so confused and chaotic, you don’t know where to start. I sometimes picture Jesus as a janitor. I see Him pushing one of those big, long brooms down a stadium floor. First one way, then turn, and down the next. Repeating it over and over and picking up more and more trash and dirt as He goes. He gets the job done with a smile on His face.
Does comparing Jesus to a janitor seem irreverent to you? If so, why is that? Could it be that our view of His ministry is shaped more by our cultural idols than by the gospel of the humble servant? Could it be that we lack respect for the work of helpers or the ability to see their good work as an act of bearing the image of God?
We know Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, but we can hardly relate to that act of service today. Instead, let’s try imagining Him sweeping and mopping our floors, which typically are much dirtier than our shoe-clad feet.
Jesus is not too high and mighty to condescend to the role of a janitor. Even now, He is sweeping the streets through the wind, mopping up our messes with the rain, drying them through the warmth of the sun, and filling the foyers of the earth with air fresheners like evergreen forest and lilac blossoms. It gives Him pleasure to do so.
He will come to your aid as you clean up your mess and not shame you in the process. And His trusted helpers do the same. Don’t wait another day. Call Him and ask for help.
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