I posted this prayer/poem from Watchman Nee almost two years ago. It was in my head and heart again this week. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe I need this reminder again. Maybe someone else needs this too.
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 made an impact… but the true reward for my service is Christ Himself. He is my treasure and my reward. I need this reminder often! If our troubles are deep, Christ is deeper still. If our suffering is great, Christ is deeper still. Or as Corrie ten Boom put it, “There is no pit so deep, that Christ is not deeper still.” Amen! May we remember this truth as we walk through suffering, struggle, and persecution. And may we remember that no reward is greater than the very presence of Christ in our lives – through the suffering, struggle, and persecution. As Jesus Himself told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12.9). Amen.