by Debora M. Coty @DeboraCoty
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior.” Psalm 25:5a NIV
My family attended a Baptist church while I was growing up and no excuse was good enough to get out of going, barring coma or gushing blood. As a preteen, I was quite annoyed to be stuck in Sunday night “Training Union” class. I did not wish to be either trained or unified with the other unfortunates, like me, who were forced to be there.
So many more important things to do – bike paths to forge; Lost in Space to watch on TV, homework to ignore.
Instead, I was held captive week after week by Mr. and Mrs. Buford, a childless, elderly couple, neither of whom had completed eighth grade in order to help their families scratch a living on farms during the depression. They owned no television, nor microwave, and had never been on an airplane. Why, they had no idea what a video game was. Unfathomable.
Yet there they were, week after week, month after month, faithful as the springtime rain. I and my know-it-all cronies scoffed at their country bumpkin speech. So uncool.
“Us loves you.”
It was the phrase with which Mrs. Buford started every class. An occasional snicker would burst from one of us enlightened scholars, but the Buford’s never seemed to notice.
Soon they’d have us racing to look up Scriptures, learn the books of the Bible, and win candy for answering Bible story questions. Of course, we acted as if none of this was the least bit fun. Yawn.
“Us loves you.”
Mrs. Buford would close the hour with the same ridiculous phrase, a warm smile crinkling her careworn face. Somehow, I remember like it was yesterday.
Fast-forward thirty years.
My husband Chuck and I are surrounded by a group of 12- to-14-year-olds, all of whom wish they were elsewhere. We are trying to teach them scriptural principles and bring God’s Word to life.
They’re only interested in who got busted Saturday night.
Chuck asks a boy with a purple Mohawk whose father is in prison to read a specific passage of Scripture aloud in answer to his question about how we know the Bible is true. The boy reads haltingly, unsure of what some of the words mean.
We explain it in terms he can understand. He’s still unconvinced. Skeptical. Mistrusting. But for some reason, he keeps coming back. I notice that he listens, really listens, when one of the other boys asks, “Miz Coty, why do you meet with us every week, when all we do is eat your food, wreck your house, and give you one big headache?”
The answer travels through time and registers in my mind as if I’m hearing it for the first time.
“Us loves you.”
Faithfulness has a resonating voice, doesn’t it? In this world of casual abandonment, when we choose to faithfully serve God by using our gifts and abilities to help others in His name, His love shines through like a lantern piercing the darkness.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you” (Proverbs 3:3 NIV).
We may not preach globally, or teach from an elevated platform, or have more than a handful of Facebook friends, but if we show up day after day, week after week, faithfully glorifying our Savior in the ministry He has custom-designed for us, He’ll be there too.
Whether we’re riding herd on a passel of squirming preschoolers, sweeping up crumbs after a home Bible Study, or invisibly running the worship service sound system, Papa God promises to bless us and keep teaching us the eternal truth of His ways.
And that’s the way I want to go. How about you, my friend?
About the author: Debora Coty lives, loves and laughs in central Florida with her longsuffering husband, Chuck, two grown children and four energetic grandbuddies. Debora is a popular speaker and award-winning author of over 40 inspirational books, including the bestselling Too Blessed to be Stressed series. Join Deb’s fun-loving community of BFFs (Blessed Friends Forever) at www.DeboraCoty.com.
Debora’s newest release, Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms, addresses the heart needs of moms drowning in the churning stress-pool of busyness. In her beloved mom-to-mom, grin-provoking style, Coty offers empathy, laughs, real-life stories, practical parenting survival tips, and fresh biblical insights to help you hear Papa God’s still, small voice through life’s chaos.
Join the conversation: Have you ever felt frustration that your ministry is too small? How has/is God using your efforts for His kingdom?