A few weeks ago, I had the honor of representing LAMP, the organization that I am involved in, sharing their mission with a congregation some 80 miles away.
There were so many emotions going through my head as I undertook this project. Most of all, I felt very incompetent. You see, I have no credentials. Very little formal education. I couldn’t help but think, “Who am I to be speaking to these people?” I’m an almost-60-year old grandma whose heart just happens to be in love with God’s people in northern Canada, by the grace of God.
Mixed in with this weekend’s emotions was fear. Yes, I will admit it, I was terrified. Honestly, I had a reason to fear, especially if I was the one “in charge.” By this I mean, if God doesn’t take over for me, I’m toast.
The final straw? I became ill with an infection shortly before I left home on Friday, and would not have time to begin treatment until the following Monday. I truly had to trust that God would carry me through.
BUT GOD, oh my Father, was so incredibly gracious to me! Sometimes when I think of His grace, my heart just becomes overwhelmed, and tears flow from my eyes. Here’s what my Abba did:
- God arranged for a great friend to come along and help for the 3 days. What an amazing time we had together, sharing some of the many memories we have of God working through us during our mission trips. I was so blessed by my teammate Kari.
- God had a team of men drive up on Sunday to help with the many different groups we were slated to speak to. It was so great to see them become involved in telling God’s story.
- God already knew there were awesome, God-loving people in this church who encouraged us greatly as we shared with them. Have you ever been with a group of people you’ve never met, and suddenly you feel instantly connected–as if you’ve known them for years? Yeah, that’s how it went. So blessed we were. So. Very. Blessed.
- Thankfully, God spoke through me. Like I said earlier, if God left me on my own to speak, I would be toast. But my God is faithful, and filled with mercy and grace. Even when I don’t deserve His help, and I am feeling terrified and incompetent, God heard my prayers and those spoken on behalf of me and the team. He spoke through each one of us in powerful ways. To God be the glory!
- The infection? God abated the symptoms on Sunday, the busiest day of the weekend, for which I was so thankful. I visited with my doctor on Monday, and began antibiotics. In addition, I told her about my weekend, which led to another blessing as we had a good discussion about the Lord.
I don’t write this information to brag in any way. (I actually just rolled my eyes.) As Paul said, I am the chief of sinners. Last week, I went on vacation with my children and grandchildren to the beach in Washington. I didn’t even open my Bible, nor did I click on the app on my iPad. And I felt like such a failure. I was reminded of the time when my kiddos were little; I always felt so guilty about not being in the Word. But life with little ones is so busy. It’s non-stop. I know these are busy times for you young moms. All I can say is, God knows your heart, and He hears your words before they’re even spoken. Remember this, and don’t be discouraged.
God was there for me all along, despite the fact that I distanced myself from Him. He kept watch over me. He’s who I thanked for protecting us from the deer that ran into our car. He took care of the various concerns that came up during the time away with our family. And our time together was greatly blessed because of His goodness.
Father is there for you, too. I know you know this, but I just want to remind you. He sees your heart, even if you’ve walked a bit away from Him. He’s just waiting with open arms for the time when you will veer towards Him again.
Be encouraged, my friends. Your God is faithful. He will never, ever leave you nor forsake you. You are the apple of His eye. He desires to use you…your gifts, your talents, your life…to share His love with others.
God bless you!
*Exodus 4:13 But he [Moses] said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”