I went on a tour of a plantation home in Charleston SC recently, where the guide mentioned that Spanish moss was in the pineapple family. It stayed in the front of my mind the entire trip; I wondered how many of God’s people were also unlikely family members. That same guide started our tour with the statement “Treat me like family, unless of course you treat your family poorly; in that case just treat me like the tour guide!” It made everyone laugh including me but between that and the odd info I had learned about Spanish moss I couldn’t get families off of my mind.
So what makes the difference in how you treat your family and how you treat a stranger? Whether it is the body of Christ or stranger shouldn’t we be hospitable?
If you are like me then sometimes you just forget. You get so wrapped up in what you are doing or what you have to get done or the tasks of the day that you forget to stop and serve those around you. A good example of this is the women’s group I attend. I am ashamed to admit this but the first night I hosted it I had snacks and drinks all laid out. I had cleaned the house, sprayed some freshness. I was fully aware of what I needed to do to make my home a welcoming place. I even fluffed the pillows on the couch! But a few months later, three to be exact I was struggling to remember to prepare the night before. I had grown comfortable with the ladies. So comfortable that I seriously just threw my sweat pants on one night right before they came. Then one morning it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had these precious women in my home that God had entrusted to me and I didn’t even offer them a drink of water. How dare me. I got this vision of how this complacency if left untreated could slowly dwindle off a good thing.
How many times in something we start whether it is a marriage or a ministry, or a friendship do we wake up one day and wonder how it got to where it is today? How did we go from in love to barely liking each other? How did we go from 100 members to 25? How did we go from people at the alter every Sunday to none?
I think we lose our sense of hospitality. When we get bored or routine we loose the excitement of preparing the best for those around us. Lord forgive me I am just as guilty. So I have a prayer for us today if maybe you have experienced this in your own life. I prayed this prayer a year ago it fell out of a book I picked up the other day. It reminded me that sometimes we forget what we know to do that is where we need God’s help.
God I praise you for what I remember. I ask that you forgive me for forgetting things I should remember daily. Please help my memory Lord. When you teach me let me be taught. When you heal me let me remember I am healed. Let me remember what you have brought me out of. Let me remember your promises and your warnings. Keep my family in the “good land” that comes from remembering all you have done for me. Keep us in the “good land” that continually produces fruit. Where we will lack nothing (Deuteronomy 8: 7-10). Show me the signs of a good land so I will know when I am there. Allow your grace to shine on my face so that it will be evident I know you and spend time with you. Do not let me or anyone in my sphere of influence succumb to spiritual amnesia. Most importantly Lord help me to remember to give you the credit and glory for what you have done. In Jesus name. Amen.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
May you be blessed and encouraged.
2017© Annette Burke & 4Her Ministries Inc.