I have been participating in an online bible study called “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God” by Lysa TerKeurst. This week’s lesson posed the question, what little thing is God asking you to do?
It’s funny how God works and how He uses people and situations to help us to grow. I like my comfort zone, I really, really like it, think snuggly kitten comfortable. My “what little thing is God asking me to do” is very simple commit to giving a family of kids a ride to church when their mom can’t. We belong to a little country church, and this family just moved from across the field to 10 miles away from the church. So even though this should have been a no brainer, an absolutely yes moment it wasn’t. It required a lot of prayer, and are you sure God? moments. What’s more when I wanted to put qualifiers on this to make it “easier” I heard that still small voice saying “No qualifiers, I’ve got the details covered I just need you to say yes.”
Of course I played the “God please let me know if this is from you or one of my ideas I need to be sure game”. The first clue I had that this wasn’t my idea was that instead of taking this and running with it I felt like our Golden Retriever pup Bonnie who often needs to be convinced that yes, she wants to go to bed or yes, she wants to go outside when it’s not her idea. When I realized I was pulling a “Bonnie” I came a bit closer to saying yes. Then the next day one of my devotions that’s not a part of this bible study talked about obedience to what God wants us to do and that it’s not convenient. That it can be messy and uncomfortable. I knew at that moment that this was something God wants me to do and said “Ok God, I’ll do it.
I have no idea how it’s all going to work out, but the beauty of it is, I don’t need to know. God’s got it covered and I just need to be open and willing to go where He leads.
My Say What? moment came last year. My Pastor had asked me to lead the adult Sunday school class in his absence, he suggested that I share a devotion from one of the online devotionals I receive daily by email.
I agreed although was I was filled with doubt, Prayerfully I started looking through the devotions I had saved over the years and narrowed it down to two of them. One I really wanted to share and the other because I felt the nudge that I was supposed to share it. I fought that leading tooth and nail for nearly a week as I continued to prepare for the class. It was too hard, the subject matter would offend some of those in the class, I wasn’t equipped to share and lead on that subject. All the classic “No God, I can’t be hearing you right and just in case I am these are my reasons why I can’t do this thing you want me to do.”
The night before the class I had both devotions in a folder in the middle of my dining room table, Bonnie one of our golden retriever puppies who was very proud of her new found ability to reach things in the middle of the table, grabbed my folder and carefully pulled out and chewed up the devotion I wanted to share. The devotion that God had been nudging me about was untouched even though it had been right next to the one that Bonnie snatched. “Ok God, I get it, you want this devotion shared with the class, I don’t know why, I am not sure I can do it but Yes, Lord I will share this devotion.”
The next morning the Bonnie pup story started the class out on a humorous note, I then went on to share the struggle I had had regarding sharing this devotion, and the class began. After the devotion about sandpaper people and ways to deal with them had been read, everyone around the table and I mean everyone even those who never say much had an experience to share. Then one of the ladies who was only in the class because she didn’t have a class to teach that day, quietly said “I needed to hear that today” and went on to tell her story, about a difficult situation she is daily living with, when she was finished sharing there wasn’t a dry eye around that table, and the class time turned into a time of prayer for her and her situation.
Immediately I could see why God had wanted that devotion shared, This sweet lady who is always there for everyone else needed to talk and she needed prayer.
My only regret is that it took me so long to say yes to what God wanted me to do. Since then I have been working on saying yes faster and trusting that He will equip me with what I need to do what He wants me to do.
This past week as you know our church participated in an outreach during Leland’s 4th of July celebration. We didn’t know what to expect, but things went well. We had a lot of people stop by for a cold bottle of water and a tract. While there were many people we didn’t know we did see several people that we hadn’t seen in awhile so it was like a mini reunion.
Everyone there played a vital role, whether is was on the front lines handing out water and tracts, or further back in the tent filling the coolers, playing the electric keyboard that provided background music, setting up chairs so that people could have a place to rest for a bit or preparing a meal for all of the workers everyone worked together.
Today we had our worship service at the park, which was the 2nd part of our outreach event. The music, message and fellowship were great. Looking back over the whole event it’s evident that it was God’s outreach we were just his hands and feet.
Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed by life. Even when there are lots of blessings and answers to prayer. Even when things are going well.
Things have been incredibly busy in our family these past few weeks. We have had lots of family time which is awesome. I love to soak in the essence of babies, toddlers, preschoolers and grown up 5 year olds. And I enjoy spending time with the adults in our life.
In addition to our family time and our normal work schedules which have also been hectic, we have been getting ready for an outreach event our church is participating in on the 4th of July. Greg has been building a display box for the pamphlets that the workers will hand out along with ice cold bottles of water. I am part of a committee that is making staff t-shirts. We needed to find 17 t-shirts all the same color but various sizes. (I recommend the Hanes online store.) Another part of the task was to print out the transfers that another committee member created and lastly help iron the transfers onto the bright lime green shirts.
Being slightly introverted this outreach is way out of my comfort zone and I realized today that’s just where God wants me. I have no idea how things are going to go. I don’t know what my task is going be. I just have to show up, be willing, keep my eyes on Him and God will do the rest.
So if you are in Leland Illinois on the 4th of July stop by the St. Petrie tent for a chat and a cold bottle of water. You can’t miss us we’ll be the ones in the lime green shirts 🙂 See you there!
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13
Take a minute and re-read that verse, notice that it says “everything” not “some things”, not the “easy things” but everything. My head is whirling with all of the health concerns that friends and family have been dealing with over the past few weeks.
The situations range from a difficult delivery and traumatic first few minutes of life, to a reoccurrence of cancer and subsequent surgery, to just about everything in between. From preliminary dr appointments, to tests and biopsies. Some have made it through their situation and are feeling relief. Others are finding the strength to handle whatever treatment is necessary in order for them to heal. While still others are just beginning the process and are waiting for the appointments and tests that will hopefully give them the answers to whatever it is they are going through.
As I think about all the different situations the one thought that comes to my mind time and time again is the certainty that even in the midst of all of the uncertainty God is there. None of it is a surprise to Him, He not only knows all about it but He equips each person with the strength and tools to handle whatever it is that they are dealing with.
That’s a promise to hang on to!