S173P12 – Opportunities taken: the destination of service

Rev. 1:9-10

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…

She was looking for a calling, but she did not feel like she was being called.  She still went through the motions and served on Sundays in hospitality.  Getting to know new visitors and hosting guest speakers was fine, but something was missing.  Still, she did what she thought she should do and kept serving.  On what seemed like any ordinary Sunday, she got the call she was expecting.  That morning’s guest speaker was from a ministry doing work with a group she never thought to reach.  What started out as her making coffee for this guest turned into a conversation and an invitation to minister on a reservation on the other side of the country.  That would be her home and her work for the next four decades.

We read about John’s revelation on Patmos, and it might seem like some magical place, but history tells us that it was a prison.  John did his service to the Lord, and that got him in trouble.  He had not gone to Patmos by his own volition, but we can say that his work took him there.  It was in this unlikely place that he would be taken up in the Spirit and have this great vision.  A rather long chain of events led from John’s initial decision to follow the Lord to this miraculous encounter, and the links are made of his service.  His availability to do the work of the Lord resulted in his getting the opportunity to see what we can only imagine.  He could not have guessed that this great vision would have been the result of simply serving.

For the Christian, availability is opportunity.  We will be presented with all kinds of work God has for his people to do, but it is not all glamorous.  Not all of it will feel like a great calling.  A lot of it will be uncomfortable or painful.  The thing is, we never know where any of it will lead.  John had to suffer greatly to be in that spot to have that vision.  I would wager that he thought it all worth it.  Serving in the small, the boring, or the difficult can create the opportunity of a lifetime, but we must be willing to take that chance and be fine doing the work regardless of where it takes us.  Father, give us the foresight to see that any opportunity to serve can lead us to the most miraculous of places.