I am just finishing up a fourteen month work season where I have been a Nanny and Personal Assistant to one particular family. In this job God introduced me his servant heart through a servant role, and showed me how to see with his eyes of compassion and love.
It was given to me; this door of employment was opened to me by the Lord. Jesus wanted me in their home for a season and I obeyed. I felt his love for them as I settled into being his hands and heart in their home.
Throughout the season which stretched me beyond my physical capacity, I have learnt a lot. I can see that the experience has produced some gold. We get refined in God’s fire to produce His gold. These are the treasures we hold onto to encourage our hearts. I can see He is good and was good to this family; merciful and gracious even though their hearts do not yet know him.
There was a time when I wanted out; I wanted to quit. I was tired and discouraged and wondered if I was making a difference. I was tired of serving, doing laundry, cleaning, changing bins and nappies. I felt frustrated at the humble-ness of this job.
After all I was a qualified teacher and He had me changing bins and nappies! Surely I had a reason to be cross or disgruntled. But no, Jesus teaches the humble and humility is important in his kingdom and so we learn to serve the lowliest tasks and do them all for Jesus. We learn to honour when we do not receive honour.
We learn to love out of his love; which never runs dry or holds back. As I sought Jesus for encouragement on one holiday break, I had a story shared with me about a Father who sends his son out to collect water from a well.
The little boy goes out every day and collects water, obeying his Father - only for it to return empty. Frustrated he asks his Father why he even has to bother if the jug is broken and it will just return empty. Eventually the Father takes his child for a walk along the path; together they see all the flowers that have sprung up along the path – from all the unseen seeds that his leaking jug has watered.
This story spoke life and purpose into my heart to see me finish the task that God put before me and finish well this season with this family and do everything ‘unto the father’. Because who knows what seeds he is sowing through me of his love and what beauty will spring forth.
Sometimes a task might seem insignificant – such as doing someone else’s laundry – but you know what? There is always a higher calling when you love Jesus and serve Him. I was called to be a peacemaker, an instrument of his peace. Does this mean I talked about God and his peace – absolutely not as that would not have been welcomed at all in this family.
But instead it is loving with Gods love, in action and attitude and heart – instead of words. I gave wordless hugs to the mum on difficult mornings, I was just ‘there’ for the children when they needed me and I was a silent prayer presence when I felt to pray, especially when sickness was ravaging their home.
I may have been expected to fulfill practical tasks such as housekeeping and errands and care of their children but I was there for so much more and it is important in these times of reflection, especially when you are exhausted and feeling ‘all poured out’, to ask God for His perspective and hear his ‘well done.’
Now that this season is ending very soon for me, I can start to breathe as it has been intense time and start to gather all the lessons and reflect on Gods goodness to me through it. He only asks us into situations to bless us. I actually really wrestled with this truth through this work season as my body feels battered and tired and I went through a huge sleep problem season where I couldn’t sleep naturally well at all. I thought why did you put me in this work situation when I clearly need rest and can’t?
But I pushed on and it was hard but God helped me with daily Grace. And now I can say with a maturity that God has grown me the most through the hard things in my life. This job is no different. He knew what I needed to grow in and that is actually priceless. For like eagles that are still babies and have to be pushed out of our nests to grow, we need to learn to fly the hard way sometimes.
No quick fix
Very few people actually want to learn and grow in the hard stuff; Resilience, backbone, Perseverance, Patience. We all want the quick fix but He knows we need hard situations for the pearls to be birthed. Interestingly, deep sea pearls are formed through irritation and building a defence wall up against the irritation. Sound familiar?
We all need to grow and use our irritations to grow stronger defence walls. Things that try and bring us down need to be the very fire and catalyst for digging deeper into God and to strengthen our resolution to follow God and learn his ways all the more.
I know I personally need strengthening, so I bless God for all the growth through all the hard things in my life for He knows what is best for me. I need his strengthening and growing of faith muscles so I can fight and advance even into lands with giants that God is calling my husband and I into. I need strengthening in God and his word for the battles against discouragement and every other ploy the enemy brings to bring us down.
Also, in Isaiah 54 God gives a promise to ‘rebuild our walls’ and I believe this is God understanding that we get battered along the journey and need restoring. He faithfully promises to comfort us, restore us and rebuild us.
‘Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you, your foundations and your walls will be made of precious stones…In righteousness you will be established…no weapon formed against you will prosper and you will refute every tongue that comes against you’.
I’m praying and believing that God will faithfully restore my body and soul now as I come to him at this end of season and chapter, weary and asking for his refreshment and renewal. I hope this season has been fruitful (only God truly knows) and trust that Jesus will be glorified through my serving and my loving with His love.
I’m trusting he will water the seeds I have sown and I will rest in his ‘well done daughter’ that he speaks into my heart.
Liana Monaghan is an experienced young writer from Adelaide.