Service


And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need.

These are the sacrifices that please God.

- Hebrews 13:16

The sea of orange vests huddled together in the air-conditioned ice box as the team leader called out the jobs the volunteers would do for the day at the refugee camp.

“We need six people on tents,” the leader stated.

Almost instantly, I saw six people’s hands raise to make the commitment.

“We need five people at the warehouse.”

Again, the exact number of hands raised.

Over and over and over again, she called for workers, and yet, I hadn’t raised my hand.

Finally, she called for two people for pallets. I looked over at my friend Rachel (who had become my working buddy over the few days we’d been at the camp together), she looked at me, and together, we raised our hands.

As our leader, Chad, led us to the fenced in area where we would be working, I had NO idea what to expect.

“Rachel, what do you think they mean by pallets?”

“I have no idea.”

I laughed, “Well, I guess we’re about to find out.”

When we arrived, I realized I was looking at piles and piles and piles of wood. Some pieces looked like they used to be sturdy blocks, but others looked like they could no longer be used to hold anything up. I looked over at Rachel, and my eyes widened. What were we going to do here?

“These are old, broken pallets,” Chad began. “These are the foundations for the tents the families live in. We need you to take the solid pieces and fix them with the random broken pieces around the piles. It’s not great, but it’s what we have to do. Here,” he handed us each a pair of gloves and a hammer. “I have to go to another section of the camp. I’ll be back soon.”

Right before he left, he showed us how to fix a pallet to make it usable again. But then, he was gone.

At first, Rachel and I wandered aimlessly looking for pieces that we could use to refurbish the pallets. It seemed hopeless. Not because there weren’t pieces available for us to use, but because Rachel and I had NO experience building or refurbishing anything. We were out of our element. And we both knew it. But instead of becoming overwhelmed, we started to laugh.

“They would put two girls on this who have no idea what they are doing,” I said.

Rachel laughed, “Yeah. But it’s fun.”

“You’re right, and we’re able to give people a foundation for a home.”

And with that attitude, Rachel and I spent the next eight hours building pallets. And it was one of the coolest and most rewarding days of my life.

Were we great at it? No. (And honestly, you shouldn’t trust me with a hammer and nails!)

But Rachel and I had so much joy because we were serving God by serving others.

In 1 Corinthians 12:28, God says that He has given some people the gift of helps—the gift of serving. Now, we all can serve, but there are certain people God has given the purpose, motivation, and joy to serve behind the scenes to make things happen and to provide for others.

The gift of helps isn’t something that takes one specific form, it is any way a person is able to serve another for God’s Kingdom.

Personally, as I studied the spiritual gifts, I realized that helps is the gift God has given me. I love to serve—whether I’m working backstage for a theater production, helping my parents move into their new house, or building pallets with Rachel in Greece—my heart radiates joy because I know that I am able to show God’s love by serving them.

Having a servant’s heart, having the gift of helps is a way to show others the servant heart of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came to this earth, He came to be a servant to all. He washed the disciples’ feet. He fed the multitudes. He healed the sick. He served (Mark 10:45).

As Rachel and I turned in our hammer and gloves that day, I walked out of the air-conditioned ice box with more energy and joy than I had that morning. Because I was able to spend the day using the gift God has given me to serve Him.

Reflection

1. What gifts has God given you?

2. How can you use these gifts to show God’s love to others?

Prayer

Abba Father, I cannot thank You enough for everything You do for me, the love You show me, and the grace You have given me. Abba, thank You for being my example of a servant, and thank You for giving me the opportunity to show others Your love through serving. Give me the opportunity to serve more people for Your glory. I want them to see You through me. I love You, Abba. Amen.

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Want to know more about the spiritual gift of service? Check out this RESOURCE from Shepherds of the Lost.

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