Serving the Lord With Gladness

We would all readily recognize how good it feels to do something selfless, to meet the need of a desperate person, to feed the homeless, clothe the poor, all of these things “feel good.” I was talking with a man in my office who was enduring terrible emotional pain and sorrow due to a family situation and he had come to me to tell me he was feeling like he couldn’t serve God anymore as his heart was too heavy, too sorrowful. I had the opportunity to remind him that we serve God because He is worthy and while we all need seasons of rest and moments of reflection and even time to heal of physical and emotional suffering, completely ceasing our service to God is the worst thing for our spiritual health. We could well say that “Serving the Lord with gladness” tell us that gladness comes through serving the Lord. 

As we have mentioned repeatedly everyone handles the stages of grief differently and some move through five stages quickly, others more slowly, some repeat a phase they moved out of and others move through one phase quicker than another. There is no right way to do grief including the grief of divorce. There are, however, wrong things that can be done when life inflicts its wounds upon us and the hope of this and every chapter is to avoid compounding already painful circumstances that can cause someone to stall out in the grief process and remain wounded and never become a functional, though scarred, person. These are tools we are discussing in each chapter, they don’t always feel good or make sense, or to some, might even seem foolish or useless. Listen, hurting friend, I have not sought out the latest and greatest cultural gurus to tell you how to feel better or move forward. We are looking to the creator of all things through His word in order to find present help in the time of need. Self help gurus can be wrong, God never is so I will stick to sharing with us all the counsel of God on all matters that create wounds and scars.   

One of the things that the Bible mandates for all Christians is doing the good things on behalf of others, including serving though suffering and hurting and wounded by divorce. Think about it like this; If we do not do the things that can make us feel better all we are left with are the things that make us feel worse. Maybe serving in a corporate setting is not possible right away, serving at church etc. then do things privately that will help you move through the initial stages of grief and anger to toward acceptance and eventually Dancing with the Scars. This is really important for those who have had divorce forced upon them for whatever reason so let me come at this again from another angle. Some who have experienced the violence of divorce are, in a sense, frozen in time. Everything stopped, joy ceased, hope died and you became the walking wounded. Let me remind you again, God desires that you serve Him and has works prepared beforehand for you to walk in (Ephesians 2:10) and doing those things will help to heal you. For those who may be thinking, I just don’t feel like it, what do I have to offer, I feel broken myself. I want to let you in on a little secret, every person God uses is broken and hurting and you’re in good company. Remember, we serve God because He is worthy not for any other reason. We must also remember that God gains nothing from our service, He needs nothing, learns nothing and benefits nothing from our serving Him which can only mean; serving Him is for our benefit, not His.

Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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