I read this prayer/poem from Watchman Nee this week:
Let me love and not be respected; Let me serve and not be rewarded;
Let me labor and not be remembered; Let me suffer and not be regarded.
‘Tis the pouring, not the drinking; ‘Tis the breaking, not the keeping.
A life suff’ring to seek others blessing. A life loving and true comfort giving.
Not accepting pity and concern. Not accepting, solace and applause;
Even lonely, even forgotten, Even wordless, even forsaken.
Tears and blood, my price for the righteous crown shall be; Losing all, my cost for a faithful pilgrim’s life.
‘Twas the life, O Lord, that You chose to live. In those days when on earth You walked,
Gladly suff’ring all injuries and loss, so that all might draw near and repose.
I cannot see how much farther I shall go; Still I press on knowing there is no return.
Let me follow Your pattern so perfect and true, Bearing ingratitude without complaint.
In this time of trial, O my Lord, I pray that you’d wipe all my hidden tears away;
Let me learn, O Lord, You are my reward, Let me be others’ blessing all my days.
Wow! This really stirred me up, especially the line at the end: “Let me learn, O Lord, you are my reward.” Too often I’m interested in the recognition, or at least knowing that I’ve left a lasting legacy… but the true treasure for my service is Christ Himself. He is my reward. He is my legacy. I need that reminder often! In ministry, we are not kingdom-builders, rather we are mining the depths of Christ Himself. The deeper I go, the more I experience the power and glory of His grace!