“Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, but Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.”
–2 Samuel 23:11-12 (NLT)
I’m sure we have all wrestled with tough questions regarding our life choices. After I finished seminary, I kept on wondering, “What does God want me to do?” I wrestled with that question for a long time. I’d had a dramatic conversion and been called into the ministry, but nothing seemed to work out for me. Every time I stepped out to try something new, I seemed to run into a brick wall.
I performed some services in nursing homes and done other miscellaneous projects, but I felt discouraged because the work I did to support those things was empty and meaningless. I had been blessed enough to go to good schools, but I wondered why I kept getting such dumpy jobs now that I’d graduated. I simply felt that others were more qualified than myself, and I wanted to give up.
Then one day, the truth dawned on me. I realized that I had spent too much time comparing myself to others. Our opening scripture, which includes Shammah’s decision to stand firm while everyone else fled, re-enforced my resolve to keep working, instead of listening to my discouraging thoughts.
This scripture also taught me that God is not looking for flashiness. Instead, He is looking for faithfulness. He is calling all of us to be steadfast, wherever He places us. Indeed, we need to realize what an honor it is to serve Him, instead of looking to others, we need to search God’s Word, filtering everything that comes into our lives through it.
We also need to look to the captain of our salvation and prayer for marching orders. It was the apostle Paul who told us to pray without ceasing. This doesn’t mean that we constantly have to be on our physical knees. It simply means we must be in an attitude of prayer. Just as we rely upon our breathing in order to live, God wants us to make a lifestyle out of dependence upon Him. Instead of living a life of worry, He wants you to live a life of peace and rest upon Him and His promises. He wants you to serve with an overflowing river of love that spills onto others, knowing that He will place you right where He wants you.
I currently volunteer as a hospital chaplain, and my wife and I entertain and serve in nursing homes. I am learning to draw upon God’s peace, and it is wonderful. So if you find yourself in a place of unrest, know that you have a very real enemy in Satan. He wants you to feel down and defeated. But the Bible says that he is a liar, so if he tells you that you don’t have anything to give, just remember that God is looking more for faithfulness than He is for talent. Furthermore, it is because of God’s own faithfulness that you can rejoice in a new way. God is looking for dependable people who will share His truth.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.