He walks in the kitchen and says, “Is there anything I can do to help?”
I was preparing Sunday lunch. The oven was going, the stove top was steaming, the cutting board was out and I was in “full speed ahead” mode.
I answered. “The dishwasher needs unloading”.

Pause.

“I mean something I want to do.”
“That is not what you said. You said, is there anything I can do to help?”

We exchanged a few more times in jest of the situation. An offer to help, that was really just a polite gesture with no real intention. It was nice to hear can I help. But in this case, on this day, the response my husband wanted to hear was…no, I’m good.

The whole conversation got me thinking of how we come to Christ. We say in our most pleasant voice of prayer, Lord, use me. Where do you need me? What would you have me to do?
And then we hear the answer. We see the road and the clear path to where God would have us to serve and we pause.

That was not what I was thinking God!
Are you sure this is my calling… I really wanted to serve over here.
I want to do this, but that…that takes me far away from everything I know I can do.

Recently, I have prayed some tough prayers. They are tough because I am asking God to take me outside of what I can do alone and I am asking Him to mold me for what He wants me to do. (To unload the dishwasher would be so much easier!) At dinner last night I shared a prayer with my ministry partner…she said,”would you stop praying that!” We laughed together because we knew that it was the right prayer, but we knew it would stretch us.

I wonder. When Jesus washed the feet of the disciples what would have happened if He had first said, wash the feet of your brother?

Would the response have been positive? Would the disciples have been willing to take the dirty feet of another into their hands and humble themselves in such a way? First Jesus “poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples feet” (John 13:5). First, Jesus demonstrated. Then He explained, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will after this” (13:7). Last He instructed.  “If I then, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (13:14-15).

He gave the example.

When we come before the Lord to ask how He would use us let us come with a spirit of willingness. If the instruction comes and we are uncertain and less than excited to wash dirty feet, let us remember the One who first washed the dirt himself. He does not ask of us what He has not yet first demonstrated, explained, instructed and given us the strength to accomplish.

Pray today and ask boldly and willingly, “Is there anything I can do to help”?