Embrace Your Inner Donkey

Mesu Andrews Featured Articles 9 Comments

02-05-16--donkeyHow’s your self-esteem? On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank your outward appearance?

Too fat, too skinny? Too tall, too short? Hair too curly, too straight—or is there simply too little left to assess? Should we talk about wrinkles? Okay, let’s not. Do you have Antique’s Disease—when your chest falls into your drawers?

Maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum and have a slim, trim physique, perfect skin, and killer hair. Perhaps you have a great job, lovely home, nice car, and a walk-in closet stuffed with the latest styles. Good for you! Actually—you may have the more difficult hurdles to cross. Why? Let me explain…

A Lesson From the Donkey

Last Sunday, our pastor asked the new round of Sunday school teachers to announce our upcoming classes at both services. It sounds silly, but I was nervous. I routinely speak to large groups but seldom to my home church. The image of falling on my face on the way to the front kept running through my mind. I can easily talk to strangers whom I’ll never see again, but these were folks I worship with each week!

During the worship songs I kept checking my clothes to be sure zippers were zipped and bows were securely tied. By the third song, a terribly convicting memory emerged—a devotional I’d read from My Daily Bread about ten years ago—about the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem for His triumphal entry.

“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: ‘Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.’”    John 12:13-15

In the Daily Bread version, the little donkey was oblivious to the King it carried, thinking: Look at how the crowd loves me. I must be something special for all these people to put palm branches in the road to soften the path for my hooves. The donkey was too concerned with itself to truly fathom the real honor bestowed on it.

If the donkey should boast, let it boast that it carried the Savior. Let it boast that, though it had done nothing to deserve the honor, Jesus had chosen it to carry Him to a world in need.

Embrace the Donkey’s Job

The donkey’s job is actually similar to yours and mine—to faithfully carry Jesus to His destination, to the people we meet in our daily lives.

Unfortunately, I acted more like the devotional donkey on Sunday when I worried about how I would appear to my brothers and sisters in Christ. Who cares? It’s not about me! I’m just the donkey that carries the Savior!

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

I confess that I struggle with this more than just last Sunday morning. Lately, I’ve given too much thought to what I wear, hair, make-up, weight. And let’s face it—our struggle isn’t limited to outward appearance.

Have you felt the sting of envy over someone else’s gifts and talents? Perhaps you’re limited by health issues or life circumstance and go or do like you once could. Why must the external matter so much to God’s children who bear the TRUE honor of His radiance within?

Miriam and The Donkey’s Prayer

In a few weeks my sixth book will release. Miriam will hit bookstore shelves and become available on every online book retailer—and the reviews will begin as well. Each release is bittersweet with exciting reports from folks who enjoyed the book and humbling accounts of others whose lives were touched by the Spirit as they read. The other side of the coin is, of course, the harsh critiques from those who dislike or disagree with my fictional representations of history or Scripture.

The question is—whether I receive praise or criticism, can I faithfully and joyfully carry my Savior to the waiting world? The answer is yes…as long as I remember:

My only honor, the only glory that makes me worthy of note, is the fact that I carry God’s Light into a dark world.


Today’s Question:

  • What external factors make it difficult for you to focus on that matchless honor of carrying the Savior within?

Comments 9

  1. Fantastic post, Mesu. Really, really good, and it was a great reminder that I needed. It’s important to be content with where God’s got us, no matter the limitations we see – He is still being glorified in His own way, even if we see our own faults. He sees beauty.
    Thank you!

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  2. Man, I needed this post! I have been struggling so much the last few days with stressing over criticism received and how people think of me! Thank you, dear friend, for this much-more-gentle-than-I-deserved reminder.

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      Oh my. We didn’t even talk about what might happen to that poor little donkey if he’d gotten all the criticism Jesus endured! ha! I pray, like our Savior, you find your fulfillment and strength in the Father, dear one. Hugs to you!

  3. Oh, sweet Mesu, wasn’t sure where you might go or how I was to “embrace my inner donkey”, but you are spot-on with this one. (Not to mention I love little donkeys and I wanted to see how I might be like one!). I am guilty many times of fluffing up the outside and forgetting I haven’t prepared my heart for worship. So thankful for a forgiving Savior! The little donkey had an awesome job and I hope he came to realize it! Thanks for the reminder and excited for Miriam’s release!

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      “Fluffing up the outside” is a perfect description of what I spent a lot of words (above) trying to say. LOL! Yes, I was struck anew by our God’s grace and forgiveness as I wrote this. Oh, what an awesome God we serve!

  4. I see myself in your devotional. I play piano for a little church that I am not a member of even though the treat me like I am. I’ve known many of them for years before I started playing for them and in the years since then more so. When I sit down to play I pray for God to use my music for His Glory not mine. I know each and every mistake I make. Most of them never know unless it is a real bad one. I have sung before groups of people solo and in groups. I have lost some of my range but still want to praise my Lord. I also try to dress well so I can honor God and not be grungy but I also don’t have a lot of money to buy new clothes very often so I worry about that too.My mother taught me to dress for the Lord not other people and to dress my best for Him. I try not to be like the donkey but sometimes I am just so much that way. When I play for other events or sing my hands and legs start to shake and my voice gets quivery and I think I don’t want to mess up. When I remember it is for God, all the shakes go away. When I remember to offer up my voice and hands to Him I feel so enveloped in His love and support. I just don’t always remember to lean on Him. Donkey in the house. Thanks for the reminder to use Balaam’s ass who saw the angel and tried to save his rider instead of the donkey who carried the Savior and thought it was about him. I am looking forward to reading about Miriam.

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