Today I had an almost audible question from God in the Spirit that lives in me.
I felt Him asking "Would you be okay if you never got to be the person to lead someone to the Lord?"
NOT asking if I would never partake in that process; not keeping silent; just being the one who plants the seeds and prays, where someone else may witness the "harvest".
Let me back up a bit. Three times in my life before I saw fruit on something I deeply desired, I had similar conversations with God - Wrestling. Begging and bargaining sometimes.
"Would you be okay if it was just you and Me? If you remained single your whole life, would I be enough?" The same thing before we had our first child, and again with our second. It has not really gotten easier to surrender. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I wanted to be married. I wanted a sweet baby. I wanted a second child - really a whole houseful.
My physical flesh craves these things, and it is no small emotion.
So each time when God asks me if I'll be okay if I never get those, it is difficult.
You can imagine how that question seemed out of the blue today. I believe I was pondering over a recent Bible conference I had the privelege of serving at. Because I was a volunteer, I had to get up and leave before the audience was fully dismissed so I could be at my post when they came out. I have covered this event in much prayer and began to get excited that maybe, just maybe, I would finally be able to walk someone to the Lord.
Not only did this not happen, but I also missed seeing the hundreds of women come forward in the invitation or respond from their seat. I saw none of this. It was not until two days later when I was listening to my friend, who was also in attendance that day, recount how marvelous an experience it was to witness all those women with their hearts touched, changed, broken, mended. And we got to be a part of that!
But as I thought over this today, I felt disappointed that I wasn't "in on it" so to speak. I didn't help lead those women to the Lord, and didn't even get to witness it from a distance. As I felt disappointed, I felt God asking me that question.
Would I be okay?
This is one I didn't realize was so fully rooted. As of right now I would not be okay. I will be thoroughly disappointed if I get to the end of my life and havaen't gotten to lead someone to Jesus and watch them be redeemed.
Late last year I accepted a challenge to ask a given number of people "Do you know what Jesus has done for you?" and I have not done so well. So at this question, and my unwillingness to be okay I realized I need to step it up. Not even just for that challenge, but if it means so much to me, I need to act on that. Make it a part of my routine.
Sometimes on my way home I'll see a beggar on the side of the road with a cardboard sign. Typically I have nothing to offer them readily available. Today, however, I had some breakfast bars in the pantry, and as I brushed my hair, I felt God telling me to put them in my purse, along with a little Bible, so that I would be prepared in case I saw someone in need today.
I realized it when I was about half-way to my destination. How had I gotten more wrapped up in my life - little socks and shoes, fresh diapers and blankies that I forgot someone's eternal life?
We are on the heels of Jonah - a new Bible study that I have really had trouble connecting with, that is until it has been finished. Principles we studied and I glossed over have been tugging at my heart this week. Jonah. The one who wanted to pick and choose who he shared God with, and where, and when.
I am that man.
Here is a quote from a recent homework assignment from that Bible study:
"When I'm excited by my own need being met but not nearly as anxious to see God's purposes served, it's apparent I've got some work to do."
-Jonah, Pricilla Shirer
Will I obey even if I don't get to pick who I share God with, and where, and when?
Am I okay being disappointed?
|Appointed - Psalm 104:19 Watercolor by Nicole Rethmeier. Available on Etsy|
I've been marvelling in accounts of appointment, and they seem to be on a God-parade lately! I studied in Psalm 104 (read it!) and how all the creatures and everything in the earth, heaven and space is appointed and brings him glory by fulfilling their purpose - and lately in Jonah, we're highlighting all the divine appointments - the wind, storm, sailors, fish, Ninevites, plant, worm, sun, scorching wind - and yes, Jonah - were all appointed, and filled their mission, and God's plan was carried out.
So disappointment feels like un-appointment, and rejection and that God's will is not carried out. But maybe the dis-appointment is my own appointment being left unfilfilled, so that God's may be. So disappointment need not be disappointment at all, but rather Divine appointments, provided I'm obeying and not running.
Will I be okay?
Will I continue to obey?