God is not subtle.
Let me explain what I mean.
Many of you know that every Friday I go with a ministry team to an assisted living facility for the elderly. We present a worship service for them.
It's difficult work sometimes – I find it tiring to prepare 10 minutes of sharing every week. What should I say? How do I make it relevant? Sometimes my mind is just dry.
The atmosphere is challenging. There are unique sights and smells. There is a P.A. system that regularly interrupts our time with announcements. There are beeping alarms, and whooshing oxygen tanks, scary coughs, and random mutterings – there's the ex-Marine who always blurts out, "I can’t hear you," and the clattering sounds of the kitchen next door.
Frankly, I often find myself in the car on Friday mornings feeling like I just can't go another time.
This has happened more than once. And each time, God has had someone say something extra, something different, something unusual to me – something that is so unmistakably from Him, that I can't leave this ministry.
But…I grow tired. I'm really burned out. I've been doing this for two years now.
And so, for several weeks, I've been praying hard about what to do. I've asked my friends for advice, talked to my husband and my sons about it, asked my mom. And mostly, I've tried – really tried – to beg God to give me a clear and firm answer if it's OK to quit.
Each time I even think about it, I feel guilty – because EVERYONE quits on these people. They are some of the most "forgotten" souls in this world that glorifies youth and worships beauty.
But…I grow tired. I'm really burned out.
So, about a week and a half ago, I had come to the conclusion that I was going to take the summer off. I didn't feel right about completely leaving – but I didn't think I could keep on going right now.
I just had one more Friday, and then I was going to tell our team that I needed to take some time off.
One more Friday – a Friday in which I had to lead the service because our regular leader was on vacation. One more Friday…
In fact, I told my husband that morning as I was leaving, "I'm going to take the summer off. This is my last week for a while."
Well…God is not subtle.
At the end of the service, I always make a point of going to each person and taking their hand and speaking with them a bit. Just to let them know that I was glad to see them. Actually, it's my favorite part of the whole time, to tell the truth.
So, I reach this one woman, who is new to the group - I take her hand, and she starts crying. She says, "I'm so sad."
I ask her what's wrong.
She so very quietly says, "I'm blind."
It's then that I notice – behind her darkly tinted glasses – two scarred and ugly slits where eyes should be. I tell her that she doesn't need eyes to see God. She can see Him with her heart. I promise her that one day He will give her eyes back to her, and that the first thing she'll see will be His face. She thanks me…
I make my way to more people.
Another new woman is there. As I take her hand she says to me, "I'm not a Christian." But then she proceeds to tell me how much she's enjoyed the service, and how loving and warm it was.
"You know, I wasn't going to come today, but I'm so glad that I did," she says with a smile.
I tell her that God wanted her there.
Now I hadn't known what to share that morning. So, I just "happened" (read God's intervention here, folks) to bring a tract with me – Billy Graham's Steps to Peace with God.
I give it to her. She was reading it when I left…and saying, "Oh wonderful - this is just wonderful!"
Can you see God here?
When I got back to the car, this was our conversation...
"Lord, I thought I could quit because there would be someone else there to speak."
"Yes, but it wouldn't be you. I want YOU there."
And then, in total honesty, I whispered, "But Lord, I don't want to go."
And He said, "I know – go anyway."
I smiled – and I just know that He was smiling, too.
He's not subtle – but I like Him that way…
What is the "go anyway" in your life?
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"