Friends, it's on my heart today to encourage you to be who God created you to be.
I spend much of my time wishing I could be better, nicer, more fun, more quiet, more whatever, like Miss So-and-So who excels at this-and-that thing that I don't do well. Do you know what I mean?
Well, remember all of those verses about God's people being a body with many parts, each with its own duties and responsibilities? Yes, those that you can find in I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. God tells us in His word that people are called to different things and intentionally knit together in different ways. This has been on my mind as we've been assimilated into a new church (we haven't officially joined yet, that's coming!) and my identity from our previous church couldn't come with me. It's made me ask myself, who has God created me to be, what gifts do I have to use in the church that I would be remiss to ignore or not share? They need to be used and shared now in this branch of the body!
I don't have deep relationships with my new people yet; I can get self-conscious about acting on impulses, afraid of what people will think (um, yes, this is an on-going battle for me.) But this is where God has us now, so why not jump right in?!
So here's my word of encouragement for you today. If there's something that's been on your heart to do, do it! The Holy Spirit gives us little impulses for God's glory. Perhaps it's something you think others might view as silly or you're afraid will be received the wrong way. But it could very well be that God's calling you to something very necessary - right now.
For me personally, it's been exercising the gift of encouragement and sending an email, card, letter, or care package when I feel like I should. Sometimes I don't "get to it" and soon thereafter I often get a call or letter from that person and I'm humbly reminded that God puts people on our hearts on purpose! I'm learning to get better at responding and doing, but I still fail regulary. I'm also humbled by how God multiplies my meager efforts when I do respond to his guidance. He takes even my balking and mistakes and does great things. Let me share a story.
We have some friends who are missionaries in Uganda. I felt the urge, probably sometime in October, to get some of Sally Clarksons books to send to Amy, mother of three, in the middle of nowhere Uganda, so she too could be spurred on as a mom in her discipleship of her children. I bought the books and they sat in a box in the livingroom for too long. I wanted to send a treat for the kids, too, but couldn't think of what.
|Lilli and Elizabeth at Chuck E Cheese's|
Finally one day, as we walked the cereal aisle in the grocery store, I saw the pack of miniboxes and decided to add that to the package. What kid doesn't love sugar cereal? (There was even a box of plain cheerios for the baby!) I got the cereal, put it next to the box of books ... and didn't send the box for another week or more.
I was starting to feel a little stupid, so I got the things together and mailed them off. The postage was as much as the books ... I had the selfish thought that I would be really mad if that box never made it (I think too much about money.) But it was sent, the money was spent, and I prayed the package would make it.
A short time later, probably less than a week, I learned the Johnsons would be in the Sates for a month for training and other catching-up. The box was going one way, the Johnsons the other. I figured they might get it sometime in February.
You can read the rest of the story (that begins immediately after their return to Bundibugyo from the States) here.
And so, the moral of the story is, listen and go for it! Do what the Spirit prompts you to do - even your sin in the process (for me laziness, doubt, love of money, etc.) cannot stop God from accomplishing His purposes. He can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. I wanted the package to get there; He got it there in the shortest amount of time, at just the right time, with just the right contents!