"Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name."
Malachi 3:16 (Amplified Bible)
It is that time again--Homecoming weekend--for so many colleges. A time to see old friends and relive days gone by from the perspective that five, ten, or twenty plus years since gives. I have always wished that I could go back and enjoy those days with a big group of friends. Quite honestly, however, those years of college days involved some of my most painful wrestlings with deep insecurities. That time in my life was when I was most convinced I had nothing to give, I had nothing special that set me apart, and that no man would want to share his life with me. Although many around me during those days would have never guessed the inner turmoil that was going on in my soul, my seemingly happy exterior was a coverup for someone who was desperately lonely.
This morning, as I met with Jesus in the pages of His Word, I read a story that I have read many times. What I love about the Chronological Bible is that I get to read the same passage out of all four gospels, one after another. Where I am in the story of Christ's time on earth is the last week of His earthly life. His death at Calvary is looming very large and near. He is trying to tell His beloved friends, those that had followed Him as His disciples, that He is going to be crucified. They still don't get it. Christ is so patient with them.
One of the last dinners He participated in was in the house of a man called Simon the Leper. Into the house came a woman with a very expensive jar of perfume that she broke and anointed Jesus' head with its contents. Those who watched her do this with the perfume were indignant and called it a waste. But it was because they didn't understand-- Jesus did. Listen to what He said in her defense:
"Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me." Mark 14:6
My sweet sisters, who else is thankful besides me that Jesus sees our heart? What this woman did caused an uproar among those who were watching her. But she did it anyway. Are we that brave? Do we truly care about what our Jesus thinks of us more than our friend? Have you ever been involved in an act of worship on a level that you were ridiculed for? Maybe your devotion has cost you tremendously with family members who just don't get it. Your worship has been called "fanatical," "over the top," "ridiculous," or "crazy." Maybe you have been written out of the will, thrown out of family get-togethers. You are no longer welcome in your parents' home. If you are continuing to love with a spirit of humility those who have rejected your Jesus, let me encourage you--Jesus knows what a beautiful thing you have done for Him and to Him. Hang on, sister, hang on.
I had never read the following verses in the light of all my insecurities before:
"She did what she could...I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." Mark 14:8-9
See, Jesus knew this woman's fears, insecurities, and baggage from the past. He knew how much courage it would take for her to willingly be misunderstood by all those around her. But look at what He said!!
"She did what she could..."
That's all He asks of you and me--to do what we can. I can get so caught up in my self-absorbed perspective of comparing myself with someone else. She knows the Scriptures so much better. She parents so much better. She's so much more creative than me. She can do that so much better. She looks so put together. She is so eloquent. She is so much prettier, has a better figure than me, has better hair... ad nauseum.
One day, my sweet friend, it is going to be just you and me standing individually before the throne to give an account for all that we have and have not done while we were in our earthly bodies (Hebrews 4:13). All those people that I compare myself to will be nowhere in sight. It's just going to be me and my God. Will He be able to say, "She did what she could?"
It's time to quit warming the pew and do all we can for Him. He doesn't call those who think they have it altogether. He calls those He can use, who know that He is the One deserving the glory and the praise. Let's stop being held back by those insecurities and fears by serving where He has called us to serve. If we don't know where that is, have we ever asked Him?
Do you see what this woman's reward for her worship was? You and I are still reading about her today. Her courage is still inspiring millions of men and women to radically love our Jesus. Can you imagine a memorial any better than that??
Jesus, You are worthy of my unabashed, fervent worship. You continue to restore what the locusts of my insecurities have eaten. I have found that my healing has come in proportion to my realization that You are my ultimate Judge. No human being's opinion of me is going to stand. But Yours means everything to me. May You be pleased that I did all I could with what You have graciously given me to serve You. It is all about You, Jesus. It's all about You!