When the Person You’re Caring for Isn’t Very Nice

Man pushing a giant, heavy stone, rock over the mountain. Conceptual, struggle, difficult task.Have you ever experienced that stripping moment when you realized God had assigned you to pour yourself into someone who had nothing to give you in return … or who wasn’t particularly nice to you … or who was bad-tempered much of the time? Maybe you’re there right now. When the call comes, we dread saying yes—but we will say yes if we realize that, more often than not, “doing great things for God” means carrying out the most menial and thankless tasks of all.

Jesus taught us this truth by example: He served those who hated Him, even washing Judas’ dusty feet just hours before Judas turned on Him. And think about it: “While we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us” (Rom. 5:8, Voice). Your thankless task might involve seemingly endless days of sitting bedside. It might involve adult diapers, the immediate needs of someone in crisis, or the rants of an addict.

Tasks like these can drain us until we wonder how we’ll have anything left to give tomorrow, but we must resist becoming lethargic or despondent—or assuming that God has abandoned us in our suffering and sacrifice. Selfless service is not just a nice thing to do, it’s beautiful to the Father. And it’s impossible to do well without the Holy Spirit. That’s why He’ll teach you how to exist in this new reality if you’ll allow Him to ground you in the even greater reality of His presence. He might even show you that it’s an honor to be among those appointed to love and care for the broken.

 My prayer for you is that you’ll “be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father” (Col. 1:11-12). Surrender to His will and ask Him to teach you to endure in grace (and yes, even joy) rather than by “white-knuckling” your way through this season.

 

 

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