Monday, August 25, 2008

Hospitality, who knew it takes so much?

~The third thing that stood out to me was Priscilla’s hospitality. After just 2 years of marriage, I’ve found that when we open our home to someone, it’s not really Mark that cares what it looks like, or what we have to offer the people that come. It’s me, as the woman of the house I feel a sense of responsibility to serve the people that enter out home, whether it’s for a few minuets or for a year. Priscilla’s record of hospitality is incredible, she just didn’t take a break opening up her home to the local church body. How exhausting that must have been from time to time. Wherever they moved, their house was open as a place to fellowship with other believers. ~

I realize that back in New Testament time they probably didn’t have as much stuff to bring around with them. (like us silly Americans) When I first imagined this couple traveling about the globe so extensively I pictured a big sail boat loaded up with cardboard boxes, on the sides and tops of the boxes were big label written with a black sharpie, “Kitchen Stuff, Towels, Fragile Dinnerware, Stuff for Bathroom Cabinet, Priscilla‘s Clothes (the ones that don‘t fit anymore, but she can‘t get rid of)…” You know, the way I like to pack when I move. “Oh right,” I thought, it couldn’t have been that way, I’m sure they traveled with very little, if anything. Then I realized, “wow, that must have been even harder” with every new move they made she had to gather up more of the essentials, They weren’t just living like hermits with a little mat on the floor for sleeping and 2 plates, one for each of them. Priscilla was having loads of people into her home probably everyday, or at least a few times a week. She must have been really resourceful, in order to be able to accommodate flocks of people like that.

Resourcefulness seems to be an indispensable attribute to hospitality. How to make a meal stretch so that you don’t send anyone away hungry, where to put someone when they’re in need of a place to stay, how to maneuver a guest around your families daily activities or even personal catastrophes with grace. Resourcefulness is something that God has really been teaching me as of late, thankfully, it’s a lesson I actually enjoy learning. However, in learning resourcefulness, I find that it’s a twofold task, not only must you be willing to be creative, but it takes a little more work than… un-resourcefulness… you must combat laziness, selfishness, and self pity, along with whatever little daily ailments contribute to an unproductive, ungracious hostess. It’s work, it’s not something that just comes easy, no matter who you are.

Another extremely important thing that I think must go along with hospitality is being aware of the need for strength, not of your own power, but from tapping into the rich storehouse of Gods might. How does a girl do that?

Isaiah 30:15 says; This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”

Job 17:9 Yet the righteous will hold to his way,And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.

Repentance, rest, quietness, trust, righteousness, clean hands. Search your heart, evaluate your life, if you don’t have strength, what’s going on that is hindering it? What from this list is missing from your spirit?

God says;

Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

He is the source, for EVERYTHING.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God has strength enough for all of us, strength to step into our role as woman. Married, single, with children, without children, living in a mansion or your parents attic, He has designed every woman to walk in hospitality. Hospitality, entailing; resourcefulness, flexibility, a nurturing spirit, administration of comfort, and acceptance. Hospitable, one of the many delightful things God has beckoned you to become. Step, run, jump into what God is calling you to be, don’t thwart His desire to give you strength, walk in repentance, rest, quietness, trust, and righteousness, and he will continually renew your strength!

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