By Rev. James Wong
Most Christians have the misconception that serving God is doing noble works and working with pleasant people. This is just a myth. Those who serve God with such a notion will soon discover the truth to their dismay. Serving God with the wrong belief will lead us to frustration and disappointment.
As I read the Bible I see that all of the people, whether they were prophets or ordinary people, were called by God to work in difficult situations and having to deal with difficult people. In fact, there is no need for any call of God to do easy jobs and to work with pleasant people.
Moses was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. God promised to be with him but he had to overcome problems one after another. There was a shortage of water, lack of food, a bunch of complainers, poisonous snakes, unfriendly neighborhood and the rebellion of the people. Moses did what God told him to do but he had to face a mountain of problems.
When Moses died, Joshua was appointed the new leader. He led the people into the Promised Land but there were giants in the land. God promised that there would be abundance of milk and honey in the Promised Land but there was also abundance of enemies everywhere. Joshua spent the rest of his life fighting all the way to conquer the Promised Land, city by city. There were problems in the Promised Land.
To serve God we must not only have the heart of a servant, but we must also have the heart of a conqueror and be brave-hearted. If we know that the call of God to service is always a call to sacrifice, to work in difficult situations and handling tough people, it is necessary for us to be tough-minded and be courageous. We must rise above all trying circumstances and deal with people who are tough on us. The call of God is not for the faint-hearted.
The real test of a person’s character could be seen when he or she has to work in an unfavorable situation and having to deal with difficult people. Those who curse and mourn have not known what it means to carry the cross to follow Christ.
If you always complain about your working environment and are critical of the people you work with or live with, you are just like anyone else. I believe we are all called to make a difference in our world in everyway, for Jesus says ‘You are the light of the world, … you are the salt of the world.’ This is a tough calling for tough people for tough duties. As the strength of a ship can only be tested in a storm, so is our call to service.