Greater Love Hath No Man
One of the most wonderful things Norman Grubb has highlighted from the Bible is that Christ lives his life by us! He is not separate, as is taught by many churches. By this I mean that He is not someone outside me who helps me become a better person. I do not have to "feel" his presence or find a way to come into his presence. I do not live life "with God’s help." As I carry on with daily living it is He through me who is reaching out to those around me and touching their lives.
Knowing this has transformed what I think about my family. I am the eldest of a family of nine and my desire for them is that they be saved. Some of them have chosen very obvious sin ways. It seems an impossibility that they will ever be saved and often times I come back from a visit home feeling heavy hearted. Before I knew this message, I thought it was my responsibility to win them over by saying the right thing at the right time. When this was not happening I felt I had failed. Now I know that there is no independent me to do that. Jesus Christ is working through me for them and my desire for them is His desire. It is His business to draw them in and there is no "just me" that is going to convince them. My responsibility is to live a clean, sin-free life so that it is Jesus Christ at all times through me.
There are times when I have to speak up and say something which could well be unpopular, but I trust that that is exactly what Jesus Christ wants them to hear. Whatever it looks like on the outside I know He is affecting them. Even when I am not with them I believe that Jesus Christ through me is drawing them. I am greatly encouraged by the life of Rees Howells and how he interceded for so many–some of whom he never spoke to.
Work, too, presents many challenges. I manage people in a busy bank and the old feeling of "I must get it right at all timesC can creep in. We have challenging targets and heavy workloads and everything does not always go smoothly. Recently the cashiers had a large difference. Needless to say, this did not feel good and as I talked to a friend, she reminded me that this was par for the course and part of the difficulties of working in a bank. Satan says "See, look at you, you can’t run this place properly. This shouldn’t happen!" But it is Jesus Christ running this place and His business what happens. I knew of no sin on my part and just needed to do all I knew to do, following the appropriate procedures. Whether the problem was solved or not, it was still God’s perfect circumstance. As it happened, a week later I checked out another possibility with a colleague. She returned to me the next morning, having found the difference!
Managing people is not easy, especially when there is a big emphasis on compliance and customer service. There are innumerable procedures to be adhered to and I spend a good deal of time checking that work is in order. I am very aware that God has placed me here for these people and every situation is an opportunity for Jesus to shine through to them. I am tempted to expect everyone to do everything perfectly every time but now I remind myself that everyone makes mistakes and that I am there for them. Christ through me aims to get along side them, encourage them and work out a way to ensure that they understand all they are doing. Getting compliance right is not some task I alone have to do but I trust that by being faithful to what I know to do, step by step, then Jesus Christ will get it done by me. I am very grateful that there is an excellent level of teamwork now evident in the branch and that customer service has improved immensely. We have now moved to number one position in the region for customer service.
It is easy to get up and out when it is a work day–there is a clear purpose in my day. However, I live alone and sometimes on days off it feels very hard to get going for the day. There are things I need to do but I feel tired and don’t feel like doing them on my own. I used to think–you’re not right, you shouldn’t be feeling like this. But these are just feelings and are not who I am. As I get up and set about the first thing to do and then the next, I forget about myself and live from the fact that it is God’s perfect day. There are also times when I feel like I am not doing much for Jesus and for His gospel–I am not out preaching or working with some Christian mission. But again I have to remember Who is in charge–it is Jesus Christ and he has me living and working in this community because He wants to reach these people too. He uses us as vessels to reach them. As I get involved in the local community, I am mindful of this and of His greater purpose and am also mindful that I need to be diligent not to fall back into sinful ways that block His life through me. I am grateful to God for what I know and the victory there is when I remain faithful to Jesus Christ and trust Him for His life through me.