I woke up at almost 9pm. I slept about 7pm to catch some sleep since I have been awake since 5am today. I am not a morning person but I needed to be up early because I was scheduled to serve as camera operator today in our church. Yes, this is one of the sacrifices I have to make serving in a ministry.
At the start of our devotion today with my co-volunteers, I was asked why are we here? My reply was: we serve as an overflow of God’s grace in our lives that we want to be a blessing, help where there is a need and serve God. For sure any volunteer will say the same. It is the primary motivation why we do what we do.
While the reason I mentioned above is so true, I would like to dig deeper. As I think of it, God does not need my service, I am not doing Him any favor. He can orchestrate things to accomplish His works even without my participation. If I do not volunteer, He can always have someone do the work. Therefore, another reason why I serve is because it is an area where He can develop my character.
The more I analyze, waking up so early is not actually a sacrifice. I see it as God’s way of teaching me the discipline of honoring my time commitment. Before I became a follower of Christ, I am usually an hour late in my appointments. But that was one of the things the Lord dealt with me early on when I became a Christian. I cannot be notoriously late because I am carrying God’s name now. I also learned that more than my will to follow God’s discipline, I need His grace even more.
Grace. There is no difference on the amount of will I possess before and after my conversion. What changed is that I get to acknowledge the grace of God in my life. Whenever I reflect how my day turns out every time I serve, it never fails to amaze me how His grace carried me thru.
Just to enumerate, here are the struggles I face when I volunteer:
- Sleepiness. I cannot help to sleep earlier than 12:30am but I have to wake up 5am. Four and a half hours of sleep is not optimal for me, causing me to feel sleepy. Thank God that even I feel sleepy while operating the camera, the Lord covers me so I do not mess up!
- Tiredness. Volunteer work starts 7am and ends almost 2pm with more than an hour of break. I usually cover 2 services, each service I am actively operating the camera for more than an hour. I am not a professional camera operator so it can be physically exhausting for me. Thank God that He never fails to sustain me!
- Holding pee. I still feel nervous every time we are about to start the service, I always need to go to the restroom minimum of 3 times. But once the service starts, I need to hold the nature’s call. Thank God I can pray about it and know what to do!
- Maintaining stable hands. To do this, I need to concentrate hard, have a good motor coordination while controlling my breathing. A slight shake can impact the experience of those who are watching the service. Of course, I want to honor the Lord by giving an excellent effort. Thank God that He helps me each time!
Like I have always said, it is only because of the Lord why I am able to serve. I do not have talent, my skill of handling camera is very basic and yet I am able to deliver. At the end of the day, I see the Lord’s hand working on and through me. I am just a witness of His goodness, a recipient of His grace.
Finally, being around with other fellow believers serving makes me feel so blessed. They are not just companions but God uses them to keep me grounded. Our group devotions keep me rooted with the Word while I learn from the stories how the Lord moves in their lives.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,
1 Timothy 1:12 NLT
Soli Deo Gloria!