anonymous (On Learning to Seek the Applause of One)

By | 10:34 AM 1 comment

I have a lot of quiet hours when the team is out "doing" ministry and I am here washing dishes.
Or cooking at the stove.
Or chopping.
Or doing laundry.
Or fighting the dust.

Nothing romantic or picture worthy.

I wish I could sit here and write that I always have a happy heart in these behind the scenes moments. I wish I could lie to you and put on a facade of perfection.

But I can't.

Life in Haiti (or life in general) quickly reveals how caught up I am in pride and on wanting the applause of man. When the facebook likes fade or the days are long and the kids are thankless, I am quick to feel unappreciated or entitled.

But I am feeling the Holy Spirit change how I view these invisible times...

I am learning to use the anonymous moments, the hidden, uncelebrated moments, unsupported by rounds of applause, as opportunity for me to wrestle with what truly makes me significant.

A team member recently left behind a book (Jesus' Hidden Years by Chole) on our counter for the day and I snooped and read a chapter in it. It set my thoughts to the idea of using the inevitable hidden moments (entire seasons, perhaps...) as opportunities to cultivate character traits that cannot be developed any other way.

Like a short spoon in a tall glass, peoples attention (applause) simply cannot reach the bottom of my profound longing to be valued. Only God can reach that place because he is the one who created that place.

So when God's affirmation feels insignificant and I am tempted to live for the praise of man, I must anchor myself behind God's will and his word.

As usual, Jesus set the perfect example for me, re-positioning his feelings behind the will of the Father and in the Word. He had hidden moments, years even...where no one appreciated or understood. No one was clapping for him.

It's no coincidence that I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to memorize Philippians 2 this Summer. The call to "have the same attitude as Jesus" and to "make myself nothing" is resounding in my heart and head. It is in this nothing, that I can truly "taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." Psalm 39:8.

And his applause,
his approval is all I'll ever need.

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Miranda said...

Love this - a grand truth to ponder and full of freedom and contentment when I am embracing it. Hey, I would LOVE to see another day in the life post before you leave Haiti! I always enjoy seeing those... the behind the scenes and mundane stuff we all do is inspiring as we do it for HIM. AND it's always a bonus to see what your reading :) Praying for your family! Blessings...