A Time to Be Served

“For each one should carry his own load” (Galatians 6:5).

And we do.

We live responsibly, work hard, and do without when necessary. We help, serve, and sacrifice to be contributing members of our families, churches, and communities.

But then there comes a time—a weak, needy, humble, broken place—when we can’t be givers. Or doers. Or servers. And we must yield and be served. 

There’s provision for this time, in God’s infinite wisdom and grace: “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). On good days—strong, abundant, healthy days—we carry both our burdens and those of our sisters and brothers. It is the Christian way. The American Way. The responsible way.

But there are other days, days when, as fellow writer and speaker Tammy Whitehurst says, “life takes a bite out of your heart,” or your health, or your finances, and we can’t serve others because we can’t even serve ourselves.

These are the days when we must bow our pride to the altar of need and say, “Help.”

It’s a beautiful, awful, pride-less, humble place. And it’s a place to see God.

We see him in the hands that reach out to help, the knees that bow to pray, the eyes that cry with us, and the easy, gentle words: “Come, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

We’re taught often and well how to give: generously, cheerfully, enthusiastically, whole-heartedly.

We’re not often taught how to receive: graciously, humbly, thankfully.

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.

“I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort” (Psalm 119:71).

Whether this is a serving time or a time to be served, a giving time or a time to be given to, we can rest in the knowledge that God has made provision, and God is here. We can accept the grace and goodness he offers and commit to glorify him in whatever state we find ourselves.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever” (Philippians 4:12-20).

 If you liked this post, you might also enjoy "Is Your Life Charmed or Charred?"



This devotion is an excerpt from Lori’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women.

You want to connect with God, but in the craziness of life, it’s just not happening. You want practical, biblical answers to situations you face every day, but you don’t have hours to pore over Scripture.

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• Is my situation hopeless?
• If God already knows what he’s going to do, why bother to pray? 
• Why have you allowed this to happen to me? 
• No one appreciates what I do. Why shouldn’t I quit? 

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  1. I love that picture of the two girls in the river. Are those your daughters?

    When my hubby was out of work for a year, I had to learn to graciously receive. It was really hard at first to accept things that people gave us like food or money and say "thank you." After awhile I got quite good at it though, lol! ;)

    Thanks for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

    1. You know, Nan, when I peel back the layers of my reluctance, I often find pride buried there. It's humbling to be the recipient of time, money, energy, especially when we know how scarce and valuable it is. I remind myself that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, and I sure want more grace.

      I remember too, that God is working in other people's lives as they serve me, and if I resist, then I could be hindering Him from working out something in their lives -- or even preventing them from receiving a blessing. Wow!

      Thanks for visiting today :)

  2. This is a very good post. I have struggled with letting my husband serve me, but I'm learning! He just loves to, and I appreciate him so much! After many years of being widowed with young children, it took some time for me to accept that my precious new husband just wanted to serve me and not control me. Bless you for writing this.

    1. Val, it sounds like you are very blessed. It is uncomfortable being served when we're so used to being the one serving. I'd say, "Soak it up, girlfriend!" Thanks for stopping by today :)


  3. I would love for you to share and link up at my TGIF Link Party. The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

  4. I love your blog :) follow me and I'll follow you


  5. This was so beautiful. I often can't put into words just what touches me from a post that runs deep. This is one of those. No words. Thank you, Lori!!