Good morning friends! How was your week and weekend? I pray all was good!
Last week we talked about remembering God’s goodness and to share all He has done in our lives with others. Because of the assurance we have in all that Christ has done for us in His life, death, and resurrection, and the reality of his promise that he will never leave us nor forsake us, we have this intimate relationship with him where he uses us to do his will and he blesses us beyond our wildest dreams, even in the midst of worldly strife, pain and chaos. These experiences are worthy of remembering and sharing and are encouraging to others. Did you have a chance to reflect upon God working in your life and share such a time with someone? Or were you able to be encouraged by the hearing of another person’s faith story? I do hope so.
Over the next few weeks I will share devotional faith stories and lessons learned as I have remembered and experienced God working in my life. I hope you become assured that God is active in this world and in the lives of his children, and that he does not sit silent. I pray you find encouragement in your own life with our Saviour through these devotionals.
Thy Will Be Done
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame. When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me. May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord, when they hear what you have decreed. May they sing of the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great. Psalm 138: 1-5
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13: 5b-6
When my husband I were a young couple with three very young children, I felt God’s calling to become a Deaconess and to serve God’s people through full-time church service. In feeling such a call, I had no doubt it would happen if it was his will. And, if it was his will, it would happen, despite the many obstacles that needed to be hurdled.
One of the many initial hurdles was being able to arrange day care for my three children: my youngest child who was turning three years old at the time needed full-day care, my middle child who was in senior kindergarten needed half-time care, and my eldest in Grade 2 needed before and after school care. As we didn’t have a lot of money, especially since I was required to quit my job of being a home daycare provider, we could not afford the regimented requirements of a formal daycare service, nor could all three children participate in the same program with all the different requirements of care. I searched the community for other home daycare providers that I knew were caring, loving homes, but again, due to the many needs of my children, I could not find one. I was running out of options. Over many weeks, I prayed and asked around, and sought and searched, and prayed more. I kept going back to the reality that if this was a calling from God it would happen, however, if it wasn’t then perhaps this was the step at which I would stop the process. That became my conversation with God: “Lord if this calling is from you then You need to show me the person who will care for my children, but if this is not meant to happen, please give me peace of heart to let it go.” Day in and day out, I laid this prayer and responsibility on Him.
During the summer which lead up to the start of classes, I taught music camps for a couple weeks. During the 30-minute drive from home to the music camp and return, I would pray and pray and pray, as the feeling to abandon the call was not subsiding. It was during one of those morning drives to the school that I heard the name “Frieda.” Now, I cannot recall if I literally heard her name or if I just felt it deep in my being, but I knew it was from God because there was no way I would have thought of Frieda as a daycare provider for the children.
Frieda was a fellow member of our congregation, who was at a stage in her life where her three teenage sons were very independent and busy, an active member of our church, very busy running a very successful business with her husband, and smack dab in the middle of the sandwich generation. My first response, which was auditory, was, “What?!? You’ve got to be kidding! You want me to ask Frieda, out of the blue, if she wants to watch my three young, busy, loud, active children? I’m going to make a fool of myself!”
Well, as it stewed in me all day, I decided that I would stop by their home on my way home from camp. Again, if this was from God, who was I to say “no”. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I thought she and her family would be a wonderful choice for my children, but in asking, I was still fearful of looking like a fool. However, I stood by the assurance that if it was from God it would happen somehow, and if it was just from me, then the worst that could happen is that she would say “No!”
As I pulled into her country laneway, I saw Frieda working in her vegetable garden. I took a deep breath, got out of my mini-van, and walked over to her. The conversation that followed is one that I will never forget, and am always reminded of during times when I am tempted to think that God is so distant. It went like this:
Me: “Hi Frieda!”
Frieda: “Oh, Hi Brenda!”
Me: “Um… I have something to ask you.”
Frieda: Gazing straight into my eyes, “You want me to babysit…”
Me: “Yes! But.. but how did you know?”
Frieda: “Well, for some reason, I have been feeling the desire to get back into babysitting for the past few weeks now. I would love to watch the children!”
I was dumbfounded and brought to tears. In that moment, I was sure I had just witnessed a miracle in my life. As a young woman in her twenties, I came to personally understand that God was in control of all things, and that, despite whatever else came my way, He was the master of my life. I learned three lessons that day:
- I learned that if it is God’s will and you allow Him to be an active part of the journey with you, He will make known His will for you in His timing.
- If it is God’ s will, He will guide the hearts of others so that all things work for His good.
- If God calls you to do something and you are obedient despite your fears- when you put your pride and worry aside- you are putting yourself in a position to possibly witness a miracle.
God is faithful, and He wants to be the master of your life. Trust Him! If He’s calling you to go through something, then walk with Him through it. If it is from Him, you can make Him responsible for the outcome, but be willing to walk down the pathway He calls you to walk on, no matter how uncomfortable you think it may be for you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to trust You and to walk along Your path for my life, even at times when, according to the world’s view, I could look foolish. Please give me courage. Thank-you for the assurance of your presence in my life. AMEN!
Reflection: Is there something in your life where you feel God calling?… finding a church home? …contemplating serving Him in a new way within your church or community? Or simply answering that nagging feeling to make contact with someone. Take it to the Lord and seek His guidance. Then, be patient, persistent, …and watch. On the other hand, keep your eyes and heart open as you may be the one he is using to assist others in their calling. In either case, may we all pray as Isaiah did, ‘Here I am Lord, send [/use] me!” (Isaiah 6;8).