Better Than You Found It
"Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” Numbers 14:3
My parents taught me at a very early age that I should always leave things better than I find them. If I find a mess in the kitchen, I should clean it up. If I find trash on the floor, pick it up--even if I didn't put it there. As I have grown older, it has been easy to see this teaching translating into people, relationships, everywhere we go and everything we do.
I haven't always left things and people better than I found them, but the older I get, the more I recognize how important this principle really is. It is service, and God's Word teaches us that service is at the core of our relationship with Him. 1 Corinthians 9:19 says, "For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them." And, Matthew 23:11 tells us, "The greatest among you shall be your servant."
This has really hit home with me lately as I felt God leading me to change jobs. I don't like change much, but there was God's gentle nudge and tug at my heart, so I moved. I didn't get a pay raise or a better commute. No, not even a better working schedule. And, like Moses in front of the burning bush, I have argued with God an awful lot about it. Like the Israelites leaving Egypt, I had become accustomed to the old way, and my discussions with my Savior reveal the doubting Thomas in me.
"Did I hear you right, Lord? You know I don't like change! How about sending someone who's out of work? I'm perfectly fine right where I am!"
But, He leads us where our gifts and talents are most needed--not where we will be the most comfortable. Like a good post-tension slab, He stretches us and firms our foundation so that the soul becomes strong, immovable through all of life's many storms.
And, He teaches us to serve.
I pray I leave this new challenge and every little thing better than I have found it so that others see Jesus in me. I pray you do, too.