Inconvenient Hospitality

 

I love people. I love having company.  I love playing hostess.    I love to cook.  I love the idea of breaking bread together and having great conversation.  I love all of the aforementioned….when it is convenient.  I struggle with being hospitable when I have to change my plans, when I am not prepared, tired, or quite honestly I just don’t feel like it.  I don’t like to be inconvenienced.  But the Lord is challenging me to be hospitable even when the stage of perfection is removed and there is no home cooked meal to make me look good, no tidy house, and a tired hostess.    True hospitality is recognizing a need and being so connected to God that I am willing to meet it regardless of the inconvenience.  True hospitality is not about me as the hostess looking good.   It is more about me glorifying Jesus through my actions, through my willingness to hit pause with my schedule to meet your needs. It is a tall order I know, but Jesus never requires anything of me that He himself has not modeled.  He sets the bar high but it is totally attainable by His grace and my willingness to yield.    I am also learning that hospitality goes beyond the four walls of my home.

Luke 9: 10-17 speaks of how Jesus was trying to slip away quietly with His disciples who had just returned from doing ministry but the crowds followed Him.  The part that blew me away and convicted me was verse 11.  It says the crowd found and followed him AND HE WELCOMED THEM.  Not only did He welcome them but He taught them and healed those who were sick. Wow and double wow.   It is in this same passage that Jesus does the miracle of feeding the five thousand.  After Jesus was done teaching and healing, the disciples who were no doubt exhausted from their ministry efforts told Jesus,” Let us wrap this party up. We don’t have any food. It is late and we are tired. Send them to the nearby towns and villages to handle their own needs.  After all, they should be good with all the ministering that you just did.” But Jesus, my Jesus pushes the envelope and responds, “No I am not going to send them away, YOU FEED THEM!”  WHAT?!  The disciples responded to Jesus, “Umm Jesus that is kind of impossible, we don’t have enough for this massive crowd, all we have is five loaves and two fish and there is five thousand men.”

I know my response would have been like the disciples. However Jesus’ willingness to show hospitability opened the door for His father to multiply the little He had so that the needs of the multitude was met.  Amazing!  Not only did they have enough but there were left overs.  Yes my God is an exceedingly abundantly type of God!

I want to be an instrument in the hands of my Father.  I want to be aware that when I am willing to be hospitable (even when it is inconvenient) that God can work a miracle in the lives of those that I extend myself to.  Again, remember hospitability is not limited to the four walls of your home.  Perhaps Jesus is asking you to pause to minister to that person you meet in the grocery store because they are in need of a miracle and they need to see Jesus.  Maybe you need to abandon the idea of waiting until your house looks perfect before you invite that individual the Lord has laid on your heart over to dinner.  Maybe your lack of finances is an issue, have you considered praying and asking the Lord to multiply the little you have to meet the needs of others?  Do you struggle with being hospitable when it is inconvenient? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

 

 

photo by:
Anika Jones

About the Author

Anika Jones

Hello there! I am Anika and I am definitely one of those. Passion oozes from every fiber of my being. I love to love. Sounds cheesy, I know, but I already told you that I am one of those kinds of people. Read on to find out some more interesting facts about me… 1. I love me some Jesus. I love to testify and if you hang around me long enough you may hear me bragging on the awesomeness of God, like how • He gave me a house I couldn't afford • Healed two of my children • Gave me a yes when I wanted to say no 2. I married a younger man…OK, not really. I was 23 while he was 22. My birthday is in April and his in August, but it’s our running joke. Nevertheless, after 13 years of marriage, I happen to love him deeply, and it still makes for a great story. 3. I have experienced the pain of two miscarriages and the joy of delivering 6 children (3 boys and 3 girls). I have both a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Early Childhood Education, which I put to good use staying home with the kiddos. 4. I attend an awesome church where my husband is the Assistant Pastor. I am also a part of a not for profit organization that encourages women to walk in their God given purpose. 5. I am addicted to prayer. 6. I am considered nice by most, definitely extreme by design. I am politically incorrect. 7. I take the scenic route when telling a story, but I promise if you hang on long enough, I eventually get to the punch line. 8. I have great ideas but I sometimes procrastinate. Jesus and I are working on that one. 9. I am guilty of overthinking things (refer to number 8). 10. I am originally from Jamaica. Surprise…sunshine and coconuts are two of my favorite things. 11. I subscribe to the Paleo Diet and actually did a round of Whole 30. 12. I love to experiment in the kitchen. 13. I make an absolute mess when I cook. I try to clean as I go but get distracted with cooking. Go figure. (My family doesn't always enjoy my cooking but I make them eat it anyway.) 14. I love people and enjoy talking to them—even the weird ones. I tried being otherwise but found it doesn't suit me well, so I'm learning to be okay with being me. 15. I have traction alopecia and wear wigs and am crazy enough to believe God for restoring my hair follicles even though the doctors have said otherwise. 16. A movie is considered good only if it makes me cry...more than once. Sound of Music happens to be my all time favorite. 17. I really wish I sang well. I really don't. 18. Telling people about Jesus is my favorite past time. And if I'm not talking about Him, I'm talking about my family or some random health fact I learned on Google. 19. I love redemption stories and happy endings, that’s why I said yes to Jesus. Feel like you know me a little more? Well good! Please continue to stop by my little corner of cyber world. And do leave a comment. Remember I love to talk to people!

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D Robinson

This is so on point. I am learning this lesson this week at work. My office is messy, and all I want to do it clean it, but the kids want to eat lunch with me. So what do I do? We eat lunch. The mess will be there, but the moments we have together will fade quickly.

    Anika Jones

    So true, we have to prioritize correctly! Glad you ate lunch with the kiddos, I am sure it meant a lot to them.

Kim Johnson

Amen. Going the extra mile could only result in someone being blessed from it.

    Anika Jones

    Indeed!

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