For those of you feeling a little discouraged by the testimonies so far... take heart... this one's for you (and me!) Feeling a little downtrodden myself, re-reading the next two passages helped to breath hope back into my soul... a simple reminder that a life given over to God doesn't necessarily mean "radical" transformation. That's what God does in us... He radically transforms us... when we step out in faith... when we, sometimes ever so slightly, step out of our comfort zone, or just simply go out of our way... to be the hands and feet of Christ to an unexpecting world.
The Robynson Family
I LOVE the Robynson family. I've never met them, mind you, but regardless, I absolutely adore them. For you see, our new Christmas Day tradition is molded from their love and service to Christ. On Christmas morning, the Robynson family loads up their red wagon with homemade pancakes and coffee... and heads downtown to feed the homeless. What I find so fascinating about this is the age of the Robyson children. All three kids are under the age of ten with the youngest being 3-years-old. How many kids do you know, under the age of ten, willing to spend their Christmas morning feeding the homeless instead of feverishly unwrapping a seemingly endless stream of gifts?
When reading Susan's story, I couldn't help but think of countless women I know... women with hearts for the Lord, but a paralyzing fear of speaking in front of people. For Susan, the majority of her ministry was centered around interpersonal relationships: working with youth, teaching young mothers, raising her own children. The one thing she didn't want to do was speak in front of large groups of people. However, one day God changed all that. During a trip to Uganda with the husband and two youngest children, Susan was in charge of leading a women's conference... which meant speaking in front of hundreds of women. She never thought God would lead her down that path... but He did... and she followed... never once regretting the decision.
Recently, I was given some really good advice from a trusted mentor and friend. In a late night conversation, I was sharing with her where I felt God was leading me and my family. But, I also shared my fears that despite the confidence I had in God's leading, I lacked confidence in my own abilities. After patiently letting me spew out all my insecurities, my dear friend simply said that God doesn't ask us to do anything that we can't do... reinforcing the truth that He equips us with ALL necessary things. He is the Great Provider. Even as I sit here and look back on that conversation, I see the flaw in my logic. My insecurities relied on my own understanding, my own capabilities, my own education and strength. Where was God? In yet another evolution of my faith, I've come to the understanding that I have trusted God to lead... but not provide... I trust Him to lead me to places that I can navigate on my own, based on my own understanding; but can the same be said when He leads me to places that I'm simply not equiped to handle on my own... places where I have to rely COMPLETELY on Him... for His provision?
Do you rely completely on Him? Or do you trust Him only after you've gotten as far as you can on your own? Spend some time really contemplating this question.