Monday, January 23, 2017

How are you using your oil?

"You always have the poor with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could...." Mark 14:7-8a

You are probably familiar with the setting in which Jesus spoke these words. While Jesus was reclining at the table of the home of Simon, Mary (the sister of Martha and Lazarus) came and poured out a bottle of expensive oil on Jesus's head. Some of those around were not so pleased that she had "wasted" a really expensive bottle of oil on Jesus when the bottle could have been sold and the money given to the poor.

Jesus rebukes the crowd and commends Mary, calling her noble. Then, he reminds them with the above verse. There is good you will always be able to do and then there is good that you can do only so long as the people are there. It really is the principle of good, better, best, isn't it?!

And it got me thinking...how am I using my "oil"? Who are the people I am investing my time in and giving my attention to for the glory of God? What are things that are always there, that I can seek out anytime, and who are people that I may only have been entrusted with for a short time that need the oil of my sacrifice the most?

As far as I know, I'll always have good, godly books available to read. Facebook, and the ability to stay caught up with friends around the globe, will still be at my fingertips. Blogs will not go too far...both the reading of them and the writing of posts, as well. The walls will still stand even if they don't have that extra pretty coat of paint and the stores will still stock racks of clothes or cute decorations to adorn my body and home with. Even areas of service and ministry in the church, that I would love to devote more time to, will continue to be available.

But there are those moments, those people that will not always be with me. My kids will one day leave the nest and my time with them will be but a fraction of what it is now. I can stop what I am doing and look them in their beautiful eyes now but, in the future, I might just be staring into a phone.  My opportunity to pray with a gal in the midst of pain and struggle will be a small window that I must jump through before the conversation comes to a close. The blessing of serving the mama who is sick and has little ones in need of care is limited to the days she is sick and in need of the most help. The time to encourage the fainthearted and weary is best served during their moments of  faintheartedness.

We may plan our days but the Lord is the one who directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9). So much of my days are filled with things that, in many ways, are always with me....from cleaning, to laundry, to meal prep, to errands. But it doesn't take much observation to realize that there are many steps I take that are not steps that will always be with me. They are the steps the Lord has ordained for a season and those people or circumstances won't be with me for "always".  Am I anointing those things with the oil of sacrifice and joyful service as I seek to honor the Lord? Are you?

May we seek the Lord and ask Him for wisdom to know not only what is good and better but what is best in each step we take!

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