Encouragement & Real Stories of Changed Lives
There! I said it! Doesn't that sound crazy? Oh! my list of excuses was many...
- I don't know the Bible like I should.
- I haven't been to seminary.
- I am nervous.
- I don't have the gift of teaching.
- My house isnt perfectly decorated. The list goes on, and on....
Yet in the not so ignorable part of my heart lingered these words, "Who will go for Me?"
I live in the "South." Most of the women around me have lovely decorated homes. My neighbor's home has been featured in Southern Living Magazine! To invite women into my home felt intimidating. My thoughts about granite countertops were very real. But deeper still, were my thoughts about my sweet neighbors and friends living right here next to me. "Who will go for me?" And I said, "here I am Lord, send me."
Send me with all my insecurities. Send me with all my flaws. Send me with my shortcomings. Send me with my shallow worries about my kitchen. I can't give them living water. You can. I can't give them forgiveness. You can. I can't bring life change. You can. And you can use me. And if the Lord can use me He can use you!
What are your barriers? Spoken or unspoken? Real or shallow?
Blessed For my Faithfulness
You may be asking…so why would I continue to lead a study if only one or two women are coming? Isn’t that a waste of my time? Good question! After all, you are busy, right? You could be doing other things. You could be making a bigger impact somewhere else. Maybe your church could use you to teach a class or organize a mission. Maybe your pastor needs your advice on sermons or church discipline or what is going on in the children’s programs. Maybe … well, you get the point. So, why indeed would you continue to lead for only a few?
May I suggest that your faithfulness with a few, may lead to God’s biggest blessings for you? That is what happened to me…I began leading an evening study in my neighborhood. We met in our clubhouse, around a small table, just the three of us! Occasionally, there were four of us; once even five. But, most weeks it was just us three: Betsy, Mary, and me. And we studied and prayed together and loved each other through that season. But, that wasn’t the big blessing; that was just the byproduct of being in the Word together. The big blessing came later, when I could no longer meet in the evenings because of my children’s various sports schedules.
I did not want to leave Betsy and Mary without an evening study to plug into, so I began looking for one for them! (No, I didn’t tell them I was doing this.) I found one in a nearby neighborhood, and in doing so, I met a woman who would later introduce me to the Pastor of an orphanage that I have come to adopt! Yes, I have adopted an orphanage... Crazy, right? Well, not if you know our God. He had told me years earlier that that was what I was to do—adopt an orphanage—which is another story for another day. The point here is that if I had not continued to lead just the two, and had I not come to love them and feel obligated towards them, I would not have gone looking for another study in another neighborhood, and I would not have met this particular woman at this particular time, and I would not have found my orphanage. Of course, God could have hooked us up another way, but He chose to bless my faithfulness by leading me to them this way. And, in leading me to them this way, I can rest in the assurance that this is God’s call and purpose for me, and that is the biggest blessing in the world!
So, will He give you a whole orphanage full of children to love? Probably not. He has something else in store for you! Maybe something bigger! And, it may just be the Bible study group you have always dreamed about---one like mine, filled with wonderful, women who love the Lord and each other. Because if you are faithful with a few, He will put you in charge of many.
WHAT DO YOU DO? If no one is there, go ahead and have a good cry. Really, you deserve it. If you have company, you will need to hold off on crying till later though...
This probably won’t happen to you, but if it does, here is what I learned:
(1) It is not about you. How can it be? You are just beginning! Don’t take it personally! You are not a loser or a bore or whatever else may be going through your mind...
(2) God may be testing your faithfulness. If God’s desire is that none should perish, if He would leave the 99 to go after the one, will you lead just one or two if that is all He sends? Is it about you or Him? Are you willing? Can he entrust you with a few? Will you prepare for the one like you would for the crowd? Will you serve Him with all that you have no matter the number?
(3) You may need a friend, just one friend, who will show up with you every time you meet. Having just one other person with you will make it easier for others to come and will definately help you to feel better too!
(4) Keep praying and keep doing what you believe God has called you to do until He tells you otherwise. I promise, He will reward you for your faithfulness. In fact, He will bless you beyond your wildest imagination!!!