About four years ago, our Pastor asked all our ministry leaders to take turns serving soup outside on the lawn of our church. I cannot even give you a good reason why I didn’t want to do it—it was pure selfishness, honestly. I thought it was a waste of time. I had better things to do on a Saturday. I had Sunday school lessons to prepare, something around the house that needed taken care of. Or maybe I just wanted to meet a friend at a local coffee shop for some “girl chat”.
I was drawn back to the story of Jesus asking the Samaritan woman for a drink in John 4. She immediately started questioning Jesus and making excuses. Her first question challenged Jesus as a religious leader—Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans. Then, she made another excuse as to why she couldn’t draw water for him–he had nothing to draw with and the well was too deep (John 4:11). I began to realize that’s how I was thinking. Often times I would make excuses, thinking I was too deep in sin for God to use me. My selfishness, my pride, my unforgiving heart blocked my ability to see the goodness of Christ in all things we do. I would hear God’s voice, and feel His Spirit, but I did not act on the instructions and guidance He gave me.
I made way to that street corner each Saturday for 4 weeks serving homemade soup and hot chocolate to anyone who would walk by. Several months later I saw a woman in the grocery store who recognized me from that corner. “Don’t you go to the church on that hill?”
I replied, “Yes, how are you?” I didn’t recognize her but she knew something about me. She went on to tell me how she had the best soup one afternoon and we prayed with her. She went on to share her personal story and how she appreciated the prayer the Pastor had given her. It was at that moment that God said, this is why I needed you to serve soup. It wasn’t about the soup; it was about the living water that flows in and through all who believe in Him. It was about being light when people are living in darkness.
If I had let my selfishness prevent me from serving, I would have missed the opportunity to be light. In order for living water to flow in us and through us we have to rid ourselves of ourselves–release the selfishness, the resentment, and the unforgiveness. We must led the Spirit lead us to what is sure to be something pure, perfect, and right because He is an awesome God!