If the heavens have a celebration every time a single soul finds salvation, then who are we to be stingy with the gospel?
I had dinner at a girlfriends house the other night, and during our avocado slicing and tortilla warming we found ourselves in a conversation about big dreams that God had been whispering to her. The kind that make the hairs on your arms stand up and you think you might actually be sick if you keep talking about it. As our conversation progressed we both realized that some things that had been stirring inside of me over the last couple of weeks, had more to do with the dreams the Lord had been laying on her heart than they had to do with me. And dang, isn’t that how He works?
This season has been…interesting. There’s not really a better word for it, I am realizing. The emotions come in waves, and they aren’t always rough – but each day brings a whole new set of things for processing. I feel like I am doing the most heavy lifting now, when things should be light around here. I have learned more about myself in the last 5 months than I have in the last 5 years, truly. And as I sit here today, my biggest take away is that I have not understood the generous urgency that the gospel demands, and I would venture to say I am not alone.
“We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life – those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength.” -Oswald Chambers
Most of us are living pretty mundane lives, with or without realizing it. And often that is our very excuse, or reason as we would prefer to call it, for why we aren’t running on mission for Jesus. Some of us are waiting for the busy holiday season to pass, or our babies to be out of diapers, or our husbands to catch on fire for Jesus so we can run on mission with them. But what if in all of that waiting our lives end? Give space to my morbid mind for a moment, and let’s talk honestly. If I die tomorrow am I going to stand before the Lord with my “good intentions” and call that my best? No. I want to stand before him and have the ability to honestly say “I did everything I could for your Kingdom with what you gave me.”
Friends, not every life looks like preaching from the platform, or teaching at women’s retreats. Some of us aren’t called to write blogs, or start non-profits, some of us will never foster children or rescue orphans…but non of that is anymore Holy than your version of “here and now”.
One of my biggest takeaways from that dinner conversation with my girlfriend, is that her prayer leading up to those dreams was simply for the Lord to show her what HE wanted her to do with the little bit that she has right now. And he responded in a big way, because he is good like that. Her life from the outside could easily be perceived as everything that the word mundane embodies. Diapers and housework, dinners and baby baths. She’s knee deep in the trenches of motherhood, and extraordinary would just not be a word used to describe her season….and yet she refused to believe that God wasn’t big enough to use it anyway. There is an abundance of ministry in the day-to-day, we only have to look for it.
I remember once sitting in service at church where I heard something that drastically impacted the way I look at my life on mission. Our guest teacher that day said “Find the thing that makes you angry, the thing you can’t ignore, and go after that.” I think sometimes, especially as women and especially in a day where everyone else’s lives are prancing around in front of ours, it has become so easy to hold our cards up next to those surrounding us and count ourselves out of the fight before the Lord has even had the opportunity to show us the cards that He’s holding. We assume far too much, we affirm the fears before we hold them up to the light of His word, we let other people’s doubts become our truth, and we forfeit our place in the Kingdom as if it only affects us. We have got to stop.
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name;
make known among the nations what He has done”
Psalm 105:1, NIV
The last line of that verse in the Message Version says: “Tell everyone you meet what he has done.” Sounds simple enough right? So then I guess we could argue that we’ve overcomplicated it a bit? Here’s what I would say to you…What does your life look like right now? What sort of potential do the cards that you are holding carry? Ignore Jill across the street with the bustling house of foster babies, and your best pal who’s feeding the homeless twice a week. Spur them on, hell yes – pray for them, encourage them, and don’t you dare let your insecurity rob them of a single ounce of affirmation, but stophiding your cards in the shadow of theirs. They are in their lane, you get in yours! What can you offer? Now take those things and lay them at his feet, wait in expectancy – hands wide open, and watch him work.
Yesterday as I drove home from dropping my girls off with their Nana, this song by Mosaic MSC came on and covered me in chills…like it has done every day over the last few weeks. But this time I heard him say to me “This will be your 2018.” And you know what? I know that I know, that all of that same possibility is true for you as well. No more excuses, let’s pick up our crosses and get our feet moving, one step at a time.
The storms surrounding me
Let it break at Your name
The rage in me to still
Every wave at Your name
Call these lungs to sing
Once again, I will praise”