The date sometimes stings me a little.
That date is September 21. Sometimes that’s the first day of Autumn. That doesn’t sting me—I love that! It’s also the day before my wife’s birthday. That doesn’t sting me—I’m so thankful for her life! Sometimes it falls on a Saturday and college football doesn’t turn out the right way. I may be disappointed a little, but that’s not a sting.
September 21 stings me because it was the day we launched a brand new church that never took hold and had to close a year later.
That can sting sometimes.
It was a season I poured myself out for the Lord and learned more about myself in the process. It certainly makes our passage today “feel” differently. We read in Philippians 2:17-18…
17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Philippians 2:17-18, NIV
In the world of Roman citizens of Philippi, they would have caught Paul’s reference to “drink offering” as a drink poured out as an act of worship to a god. But Paul was going deeper. He was drawing imagery also from the Old Testament references to drink offerings poured out to the Lord at the Temple.
The very essence of the work of Paul’s ministry among them was an offering as a sacrifice to the Lord. His life is being poured out for them. With all his strength, the Apostle exerts himself on their behalf. But he doesn’t resent it.
Even if he had to die for them, he is glad and rejoices with them. But it wasn’t just because of them that he is able to be glad and encourages the same from them. It was the object of their faith: Jesus Christ.
There’s no need to wring our hands and panic when we’re in the will of God. Just as Paul would say, we must cultivate in our lives the attitude of being glad and rejoice in the object of our faith.
It is for Jesus we pour out ourselves.
September 21 won’t always sting a little. I know that. But I know that because the Lord taught me so much through that season. He matured me more in a few years than I could get in a decade.
He taught me to rejoice in pouring myself out for Him. To simply be with Him while I’m doing something for Him. To pour myself out without complaint and without pouring more than He has called me to pour.
We rejoice in whatever circumstance we have when we walk in the will of our Father.
Pour out yourself for Him with gladness today. Remember the favor you walk in and from.