From across the room, I watch her, flitting through the kitchen with a floral apron on. Diligently, she focuses on her task, carefully measuring and pouring every ingredient in to her stainless steel bowl. Late into the night, my ten year old daughter Grace prepares and mixes her cookies. “The most important ingredient is love,” she remembers my saying with a soft smile. Joy reflects in her graceful movements, unlike the days before. Fear and discouragement sought to rob her of courage to cook for our family, and hesitation was in her voice when she shared with me; “No one ever says ‘thank-you’.”
In all truth, I too have experienced similar feelings before. Discouragement and exhaustion have sought to rob me of joy in serving my family when the thank-you’s didn’t flow from their lips. At times, apathy desired to take over my attitude or a burst of over achievement would come over me, just to get the thank-you I longed for. Where was my restless mind going to rest and finally settle? What example was I going to set for my sons and daughters when they chose to serve?
• “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” I John 3:18
• “Serve wholeheartedly, as if your were serving the Lord, not men..” Eph. 6:7
• “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ your are serving.” Col. 3:23 & 24
These are the beautiful truths that now minister to my daughters and sons. The evidence of truth’s transforming power can be summed up in Grace’s most recent statement while baking her cookies;
“My favorite part is serving them to everyone.” At this time of Christmas preparation, let’s remember Who our example is and some favorite part(s) about how he chose to serve. He is the One who left Heaven,was miraculously conceived in the womb of a young, unwed, inexperienced Jewish teen, and was born in a stable among the stench of animals. Let’s remember that Jesus was born into an ungrateful world where He was being hunted as an infant, even though he came to love, serve, and die for all mankind. That he truly is Immanuel, the Son of God, the Messiah, who knew so few would say thank you, and yet… He came anyway.
More to the story: **That night, as our family devoured their cookies, Naomi received a generous amount of thank you’s!