I got away this week. No phone, no facebook, no iPod, no people. Just Me, a Bible and the silence. I wont go into details because if I did I wouldn't ever finish this note, but i will let you in on one conversation I had with the Lord Jesus.
I see in my self a need to be justified by others and to receive recognition for what I do, and It is really nothing more than a sense of needing to be loved.. It is a blot on my soul that I was most afraid people would find out about. In one sense, it is entirely human, because we are made to feel a need for Justification, and Jesus has accomplished this for us on the Cross. But what I could not seem to get away from is the fact that all that I do, from words, actions and even thoughts seems to get put through this process of "are they going to realize what I have done for them?" or " If I do this, will they love me?" There is an angst that penetrates every fiber of my being that comes from this and I wrestled very deeply with this part of my life in my time away. I cried out to the Lord as David did "My eyes long for your promise;I ask, "When will you comfort me?" I asked him to show me what to do in order that I might understand why I sow and do not reap, why I pour out onto others and do not receive back. Other than being totally selfish and in deep, deep sin because of it, the Lord remained silent for a bit, until he showed me a reel of His earthly life, and how He endlessly poured into to others, healed others, taught others, and cried with others, but had no comforter except the Father, no companion except the Holy Spirit. I saw this and I wept. I wept, because I was trying to be like Jesus, but did not have the framework to understand the cost of what it means to emulate him. The hard lesson I learned is that sometimes you get nothing for your effort, you will reap nothing from your sowing. It does not matter how much you love someone, serve them, pray for them or seek to help them; the plain fact is is that Christian is someone who does not seek any gain. Whether emotional, spiritual, physical or financial; it it not in the heart of Jesus to seek after those things. It hurt deeply to see this and to realize the fact sometimes God ordains people in your life that your job is to pour into them and they will not give as much as a thank you, but that doe not mean that your work was in vain, but that it was not for you to see.
So, I am ok with this now. And I realize the good that God is accomplishing, but still have this inkling to want a return on my investment, and then I realize it is not my investment but His. I am just a steward of His, and should expect nothing but a "well done good and faithful servant" at the end.