Friday, June 10, 2016

First Observe, Then Serve: An Introduction + The Savior's First Miracle

Throughout the years, I have been amazed at the service Christ rendered to women in the New Testament.  It always amazes me to see how much love our Savior has for each of us, and it is through the hands of others here on earth that I have seen that love.  His example of service to these women has inspired me again and again as I am prompted to serve others around me.  

Many are familiar with the quote, "First observe, then serve", which was stated in the October 2012 General Conference by Sis. Linda K. Burton.  As I've pondered this simple, yet powerful statement, I have found that Christ's example is the most perfect way to put this into practice.  Even more wonderful, I have found His observations and service towards women in the New Testament as a balm of Gilead.  It has strengthened my testimony of our Heavenly Father's love for all of His daughters.  

I have compiled a few of the many stories from the New Testament where is observation and then service met individual needs, and it has made it more clear to me that each person needs to be served according to those needs.  There are many ways that people let us know what they need, and I believe that studying the Savior's life will help us to be more in tune with the Spirit so that we can be more open to observing them. 

Over the next four weeks, I will be relating stories from Christ's ministry and what I have learned about observing and then serving from the Master.  Each Friday and Tuesday at noon, a new story and my comments will be posted.  I invite everyone to join in and share their feelings about the stories, as well.  My goal is to create a safe place where we can all share our feelings on this important topic and learn from each other.  

Today's story is when Christ turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana--the first miracle performed by the Savior here on earth.  This story is found in John chapter 2.

I find it fascinating that the first miracle Jesus performed was at the request of a woman--His mother, Mary.  Mary was very forthright with the Savior.  She stated the problem, "They have no wine", to which Jesus responded by asking her what He should do.  Instead of telling Him what to do, she responds with faith, knowing that He is the Savior, and tells the servants to follow Jesus's instructions.  This is the observation.

The service comes straight afterwards--the Savior does not wait.  He instructs that nearby water pots are to be filled with water.  After this occurs, he tells the servants to draw from them, and they are amazed that they draw out wine instead of water.

So, what are the most important things to note about observation and service from this story?  In my opinion, they are that when someone asks for help, we defer to them to let us know what we can do.  We ask specifically, "What can I do to help you?"  The second thing I learn from this story is to serve immediately.  Sometimes we set ourselves up to fail because we stop to think too long.  By acting straight away, we become a person that is reliable and trusted.  The Spirit will send us more tasks to complete, and others will feel more comfortable asking us outright for what they need.

What aspects of this story do you see that can help you better observe, then serve?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!  Feel free to join our Facebook group, as well, where people from all walks of life are joining the conversation.  I will be back soon with my next post in this series. The story I will be using then is the woman at the well.  I hope to see you then!

P.S.: Please make sure that you keep all comments uplifting and kind.  Assume the best of each other and read all comments in a positive manner.  I truly believe that anyone commenting is only seeking to be understood and heard, not offend. :)


Michelle Medlin said...

Wow - I LOVE THIS! So, my thoughts on this is that I tend to slow myself down because I have a history of jumping immediately to see what I can do and even kind of push others to get involved. I am the type of person that would let a homeless man live with me without even thinking of the risks I'm putting myself in and not really caring because I know God will protect me - but then, someone tells me all these horrible things that can happen and puts doubts in my mind so I don't do anything and then feel empty - but - I start to think about all the men I know and maybe THEY can help this person! I tell them about the situation and then I don't understand when they tell me I'm nuts/crazy/insane/you can't save the world - so, I feel dejected in my thoughts before I can even do anything.

MHK Designs said...

I am similar to you, Michelle. I have a hard time putting appropriate boundaries in place with regards to relationships because I really want to help people! There are times when the Lord wants us to help, and times when others need to help themselves. In this story, there was already a basis of trust to the relationship. True and effective service that benefits both parties has to be built on a foundation of trust. It's hard to remember all that, though, when you really want to help, but I think that trust opens our eyes to the root of the problem so that needs can be met and people can still take responsibility for their lives and feel successful instead of learning to be helpless.