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  עֲבוֹדָה (Avodah)

The following guest post is written by my friend Alyssa Benderoth.

Have you ever asked yourself what am I doing here? Or what is my purpose on this earth? I am sure most people at some point in their lives feel this. It’s a longing in everyone’s heart to feel a sense of worth, purpose, and that what they are doing in this world will matter. It’s our souls longing for our Savior to return and take us to our eternal home. But, what do you do in the meantime?

Well, my friend, that is something no one will ever fully know. However, I do know that if you take one step at a time, one day, one month, one year at a time, He will lead you. 

This is something I’ve personally experienced in the past couple of months. About a year ago the love of my life asked me to marry him. Of course, I was ecstatic to plan a wedding, be a wife, and not have to drive three hours one way every weekend to be together. 😉 What I didn’t realize was the difficulty that would come with moving away from the very close knit family I have, to hardly any family at all. Moving to a strange and unfamiliar place three hours from my normal, comfortable, and fun life. Moving to a place I’d only visited a handful of times, and knew only a handful of people. That sounds dramatic and extreme because three hours isn’t even that far, but it’s how it feels at times. Thankfully the Lord was preparing me and helping me to ease into this new reality over the course of six months. I had some very special time spent wedding planning with my mom and two sisters, hanging out with friends, and attempting to wrap up my life in Covington, Ohio as much as I could.

So, fast forward a few months to the wedding and honeymoon. It was amazing and wonderful and exciting. I was so in love and so excited for this new venture in life with my best friend. The first few weeks were so fun getting settled in and enjoying life together, soaking it all in. Then, reality struck. A few weeks in the devil really started attacking my soul through doubts placed in my thoughts, which of course led to him overtaking my emotions. I tried so hard to control it, maintain them, and place them all in God’s hands. But, he’d just keep whispering, “Why are you even here?”, “You really don’t even have a purpose here..”, “You are all alone here..”, “What are you even doing with your life getting married at 20 years old?” And I’ll be honest with you, these doubts were hard to fight off. In fact, I’m still working on it today. I have to remind myself daily to be intentional and choose what God says about me to be true.

So, like I said earlier, I took one step at a time with Jesus by my side. My husband prayed a lot for me, trying to help me see the truth of my purpose and my calling here. That even if I wasn’t across the world serving beautiful orphan children, I am still fulfilling the Lord’s purpose for my life. You see, I think I had made up this perfect idea of what ministry in my life should look like. My heart is for missions and ministry, and I feel a tug on my life for that one day. And right after I graduated High School I lived in Haiti doing an internship for four months, and I thought that was the ministry calling on my life. I had made that my idealistic scenario and was not completely open to what the Lord had planned for me.

My heart is still for the lost and hurting, and to one day be able to go back into the mission field. But for now, it’s here. It’s ministering to my husband’s needs. It’s keeping the house clean. It’s making it feel like a home, filled with love. It’s providing groceries and meals for him every single day. It’s encouraging him in the little and big things. It’s building a trust and foundation of love for our marriage to withstand all of life’s hardships. So, for now; Jesus, marriage, and my husband are my ministry and my purpose. It doesn’t have to be some grand thing. Or comparing life and ministry to other Christ followers, thinking they are doing better or more for the kingdom of God. You must instead celebrate what God is doing in you, through you, and for you!!! We must turn our hands towards heaven, open handed, living in surrender to the call He has for us.

Through all of this, I have come to realize one of the gifts God has blessed me with is hospitality. I love it and enjoy blessing others through it. It can be exhausting and tiring. However, the other day God brought me to this verse as encouragement.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 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.

1 Peter 4:8-10

So, take this verse and apply it to your own gifts and talents in your own life. In whatever season you may find yourself in, use the gifts God has given you. Use it to serve one another and to be a reminder of the gift of grace God has given to all of us. Do not go weary and lose heart in your serving. For God has placed you there for a purpose. 

The Bible mentions this Hebrew word, Avodah (mentioned in the title), meaning “work, worship, and serve” and I think that it is crucial for us as Christians to grasp in today’s world.

But as for me and my household, we will serve (avodah) the Lord.

Joshua 24:15

This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship (avodah) me.

Exodus 8:1

This suggests that our work and serving can be a very powerful way to worship God. Where we honor and serve others as the Lord has done for us. Even in our daily tasks and work we are to worship God and be joyful in it. 

In conclusion, don’t grow tired of your daily life. Don’t let the devil tempt you and make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. Don’t grow wearing from the devil’s doubtful lies. Fight them with prayer and ask others to fight alongside you. Jesus is willing to take your hand and lead you into the truth about who you are and what you’re doing here on earth. It may not be how you expect or what you even plan it out to look like, but His ways are always better for us.

I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for all people, a light for the nations.

Isaiah 42:6

God wants this for us. So, don’t be too focused on what seems like a BIG ministry, that you miss out on the simple ministry. Find joy in your everyday walk. And when the devil tries to creep in with those thoughts, just remember you are the Lord’s and He has a plan for you. Keep on steadfast servants in the Lord.

He is with you and He is for you!!!

About Alyssa:

Alyssa and I met in Haiti. She interned one summer at the ministry I worked for. It was an effortless friendship from the start. We did everything together–planning VBS, caring for wounds, remodeling the children’s home, trying to learn native dances, teaching first grade art, Bible study, and even chasing down a thief. We saw the clock strike three many mornings still wide awake and working.

In February, I was blessed to be able to meet her fiancè Andy and spend a few days with them before their wedding. It was a sweet time.

Alyssa is one of the most down to earth women I’ve ever met. She’s always ready to give encouragement, prayers, and hugs. I am excited to be sharing this guest post written by her with you all today. It was once said, “A true and noble friendship shrinks not at the greatest of trials.” I’ve found this to be true. I hope through her words you may be encouraged wherever you find yourself today.

2 Responses

  1. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you should write more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks dont talk about such issues. To the next! Cheers!!

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Hi! I’m Rachel. Through a series of God orchestrated events I ended up in Haiti, in 2017.  Through years of serving with a ministry there I came to love the country and its people. I met Nelson and we got married in 2020. It was the best decision of my life! 


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