I serve at the pleasure of the President
I’ve been enthralled with the inter-workings of the White House since I was a kid. (No joke, I used to pretend to have a radio show where I interviewed Abraham Lincoln… don’t worry, I know I’m weird)
Throughout the series The West Wing, this phrase is said to show a staff members support, regardless of how they feel personally about what they’re being asked to do.
Turns out the saying has really been used in governments around the world since 1789, in one form or another. The original phrase in Latin means “I serve at the pleasure of the King.”
This isn’t pleasure like having fun. This phrase means that you’re serving simply because the King wants you to. Just because it is His will.
The Moment It Became Real
Almost 4 years ago, Scott and I took on an associate pastor’s position at our home church… with really no earthly idea as to why.
We’ve never had any desire to be on staff at a church. That’s just not where we’ve seen God using us.
And yet that’s right where we found ourselves…
I remember sitting at our little kitchen table eating breakfast that first morning as associate pastors, asking God what in the world was going on.
Because to us, this came out of left field and we couldn’t see where God was taking us.
So clearly God spoke to my heart those words, “I serve at the pleasure of the King.”
So of course I googled it (because you aren’t going to find that one in the Bible!)
And to my surprise, this is the second part of the phrase that I had never heard before –
… and I will continue to serve for as long as He wants me to.
I kept that phrase written out by my desk the whole time we were on staff. On the hard days, the days I wanted to scream “WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE,” it served as a reminder that God wasn’t asking me to understand the why.
He was just asking me to do what He had asked.
Sometimes the hardest thing for us to accept is that God isn’t asking us to understand what He’s doing; He’s just asking us to be obedient.
To serve without wavering
To follow no matter where He leads
For however long He has us there.
For As Long As He Wants Me To
I think we all go through phases of life where we forget that we aren’t fully in control.
Scott’s accident was a slap in my face reminder of just that.
The truth is none of us know what the future holds. We don’t know where God has us going next or what we’ll be doing there.
You think after spending almost 8 years now in disaster relief ministry that I’d have learned that lesson by now. Because we rarely know what the future holds.
But even in our ever-changing location life, I still had come to think I knew what we’d be doing next. I just may not have known where.
Now don’t get any crazy ideas. We have no intention of stepping away from disaster relief ministry now, missing fingers or not.
But we do know that how we serve is going to have to change slightly for a while, at least until Scott’s hand is healed and he figures out how to use his left hand more.
And that’s something neither one of us could have seen coming.
But the truth is God’s plan has not changed. He still wants us to serve at His pleasure, doing what He has for us to do for however long He wants us to do it.
Because we serve at the pleasure of the King.