On the Precipice

03/24/2011

Have you ever been on the brink of something huge and felt simultaneously excited and inadequate? A couple weeks ago Jason and I made an important decision about our future. I feel without a doubt that it’s the direction God is leading us — it’s something that’s been in our hearts for a long time but lately has been stirred up to the point that we can’t ignore it. Immediately after the decision was vocalized and we were in unity about it, I started getting overwhelmed with fears about my shortcomings and worrying whether or not this is something we’d be able to pull off. As Christ-followers, we recognize this as a spiritual attack. Obedience with passion and excitement to move forward is met with resistance in the form of fears and concerns. I tossed and turned that night, wrestling with my thoughts.

The next morning, I cracked open my short daily devotional book, Jesus Calling. It is a 2 minute read of encouraging words from the prayer journal of missionary Sarah Young. What it said on March 11 is exactly what I needed to hear that morning to squelch the burning feelings of inadequacy that had plagued me the night before:

“Walk by faith, not by sight. As you take steps of faith, depending on Me, I will show you how much I can do for you. If you live your life too safely, you will never know the thrill of seeing Me work through you. When I gave you My spirit, I empowered you to live beyond your natural ability and strength. Thats why it is wrong to measure your energy level against the challenges ahead of you. The issue is not your strength but Mine, which is limitless. By walking close to Me, you can accomplish My purposes in My strength.” (based on 2 Cor 5:7 and Gal 5:25)

I’m sharing this hoping it will encourage someone else as much as it did me (not just to make you wonder what’s going on with us.) I can’t reveal what it is yet; for now we’re still holding it close as we figure out the next steps. (Hint: I’m not pregnant. I know some of you were thinking that.) If God has put you on a precipice with a view of what’s ahead, be strong and courageous! Though I may not be capable of what will be required of me, I know that He is with me and He will make me able.


God is good! And why I don’t get away with anything.

02/25/2010

I did something to my shoulder two days ago. Not sure what but it was definitely nerve related and hurt intensely. It probably happened from swinging my backpack into the trunk before work …

Anyhow, I was really wanting to not make a big thing of it, not draw attention to it, not tell anyone, not let it distract me … but yet, in all my attempts to do that, it was distracting me bad. Real bad. All day.

I made it until 8:00 pm without saying a word. Then I reached across the table for my Sprite at the Listening Room and winced at the take-my-breath-away pain. I succombed to temptation and I opened my mouth.

Me to Jason: “I really jacked up my shoulder. It’s killing me! I don’t want to make a big deal of it, though.”

I don’t know if it’s our 10+ years together or his super observant nature or his prophetic gifting (probably a combination of all 3), but he can see right through me.

J: “Ya know, there is a difference between saying you’re not making a big deal about something, still worrying and obsessing about it in your mind, and actually not making a big deal of it.”

I couldn’t help but smile. I knew I was pegged. He knows me better than I know myself.

J: “I’m not saying you’re doing that. I’m just saying —”

M: “I love you.”

J: “Don’t you mean, I hate you?” It’s hard being the messenger. Can you tell I usually react defensively?

M: “No, I love you because you don’t let me get away with anything.”

Driving home, I was praying about it. I decided if I was going to stop thinking and obsessing about it, I needed to fully give it over to God. I trust Him to take care of all of my needs big and small, including stabbing shoulder pain, but sometimes I need to confess that I’ve been letting it burden me and release it to Him. I think I prayed something like this:

God, forgive me for letting this become such a distraction for me. I’m handing it over to You. I trust You with it.

Instantly, the pain went away. Hallelujah! I have faith but even I was pretty surprised!

Then I made a wide right turn and stabbing pain took my breath away again.

Ok, I need a reminder. Something I say every time it hurts to refocus and remember that I handed this over to God. … How about “God is good!” Because He is good. Even when I have pain. He is still good!

So that’s what I did and have been doing for the past day and a half. The pangs of pain have been getting progressively less frequent. But when they hit, I proclaim “God is good!”  And whether the pain stops or not, that is what I will keep doing. It’s amazing what a difference it makes for me to say-try-attempt to not do something and to actually resolve to hand it over to my God who is able to do immeasurably more than I ask or imagine.

You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to. You may be carrying secret burdens and letting your thoughts be consumed by your situation, even while holding it together on the outside. I just wanted to let you know there is another option.