In the Midst of Dirty Dishes

Jun 03, 2019

In the Midst of Dirty Dishes.  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: . . . whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.—1 Peter 4:9 – 11

She and her husband had been missionaries for over sixty years and led countless people to Christ. Now she was in her eighties and still serving. My friend Sheli and I were honored to stay with her for a week to minister alongside her.

After traveling thirty hours to her home in Takamatsu, Japan, we arrived late in the evening. She ushered us into her kitchen for a hearty meal, then prayed for us before we all went to bed. When the sun was barely up the next morning, we feasted on an enormous breakfast in her tiny kitchen.

The kitchen was crowded, her appliances old and worn, dishes piled high in the sink from her lavish food preparation — yet the atmosphere felt entirely like home. As she and her husband read Scripture and encouraged us, tears welled up in my eyes, the love of Christ enveloped us; it overwhelmed me.

Immediately after breakfast, she began cooking again, this time for 100 women. She’d rented a banquet hall and invited friends, telling them an American would be speaking and there would be food. We cooked, set up tables for the luncheon, and then I was ushered to the front to speak. Her objective in hosting the event was to build a bridge in hopes that those who came for lunch would come back again for church on Sunday. Many did!

While driving home after the lunch, she told me she’d invited a large group to the house for dinner that night. I couldn’t imagine how we could clean up the mess we’d left behind and simultaneously prepare another meal. How would we get it all done? She didn’t seem concerned. Instead, she was fueled by the energy of what the Lord had done at the luncheon.

There have been times I’ve worried more about my kitchen than how I can serve others. I fret over the size and messiness. But I was inspired as I watched this woman who had no concerns about the dirty pots in her sink. She didn’t let an unswept floor keep her from ministering. She set the table beautifully and welcomed her guests. She and her husband prayed and read Scripture. Hearts melted.

Years have passed since that week in Japan and I think of this woman whenever I have company. Over her lifetime, she has ministered to thousands in her home, and many have come to know Jesus there. Her ministry has nothing to do with a spotless kitchen. In fact, her kitchen was a mess. But whenever God opens a window of opportunity, she seizes it.

I want my service to be like that described by the apostle Peter, grounded in “the strength that God supplies.” I want to long for people to know Jesus more than I long for the perfect kitchen.

God cares more about what’s happening among the people in our kitchen than He cares about the state of it. My missionary friend taught me that it is possible to share God’s love, demonstrate His character, and offer hospitality, even in the midst of dirty dishes.

Dear Lord, show me ways to serve through the resources You’ve given me. Help me care more about people than things like dirty dishes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

REMEMBER
Your kitchen is a perfect place to show hospitality. Don’t wait for it to be perfect to invite guests. God will supply the ability you need to minister in your kitchen, and He will be glorified.

REFLECT
Would you be willing to invite people to stay for dinner if they dropped by unannounced — even if your kitchen was a mess? Why or why not?

RESPOND
Can you think of a person, family, or neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus that you could invite for dinner?  Make a call and get it on the calendar.

POWER VERSES
Proverbs 31:15;

 Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Teams. © 2013 Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. zondervan.com

LIVE IN VICTORY

Check out our new Women of Faith Show and growing Collection of Classes on LIFTABLEtv.  Also check out our growing Keys for Living resources.

New episodes are posted weekly and we'd love to share them with you!

DIVE INTO OUR COLLECTION OF CLASSES
START WATCHING THE WOMEN OF FAITH SHOW
VIEW OUR GROWING RESOURCES
BECOME A CHRISTIAN LIFE COACH

STAY UP TO DATE WITH ALL THINGS WOMEN OF FAITH

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER, TO BE NOTIFIED OF NEW RESOURCES, CLASSES, SHOWS, BOOKS, RELEASES, SPECIALS, EVENTS AND UPDATES.

Be coached and equipped to boost your spiritual strength, experience real relationships, and be the life leader you Are.

LIVE IN VICTORY... Across our various Women of Faith offerings you'll find tools to help you grow in spiritual strength, real relationships and life leadership, all in one place! Alita Reynolds, President and Foundational Voice invites you to share your experience of how God is transforming your life and we will coach and equip you to guide others toward victory too. Women of Faith is a global ministry, specializing in the use of all forms of media & technology, as a conduit to connect people to people and exponentially grow friends and community globally and to create disciples 24/7, 365 days per year.  This allows Women of Faith to reach more people and to have more impact in growing God’s Kingdom.  Women of Faith is also committed to carrying the legacy of wisdom, story and authenticity, by providing various media, initiatives, resources, events, courses, studies, partnerships and programs.  These are utilized to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  
NOTICE: The information contained in this resource is general in nature and is not intended to provide or be a substitute for advice, consultation or treatment with a duly licensed mental health practitioner or other medical professional. This resource is intended to provide practical faith-based guidelines for balanced living and is not a replacement for medical advice. Professional services should be pursued whenever necessary and/or appropriate. By utilizing this resource, individuals acknowledge that Women of Faith is not providing direct clinically-oriented mental health treatment or therapy, and that it does not create a therapeutic relationship between any individual and Women of Faith.  Individuals who use this resource also agree to indemnify and hold harmless, Women of Faith, its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, as well as the officers, agents, and employees of Women of Faith and its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, from and against any and all liability, loss, damages, costs, charges, legal fees, recoveries, judgments, penalties, and expenses, which may be obtained against, imposed upon or suffered by Women of Faith.Additionally, certain views and opinions expressed in this resource may be those from sources other than Women of Faithand do not necessarily represent the views of Women of Faith, nor imply an endorsement by Women of Faith. All rights are reserved worldwide and no part of this resource may be reproduced in any form (print or electronic) without the expressed written permission of Women of Faith.