A Year of Being Willing
I can’t begin to tell you how many times well meaning people have told me, “I could never do what you do.”
Each time I smile, knowing they mean well, knowing they say this as some sort of compliment.
I have a standard response. Standard because I have said it so many times:
“That’s not true. If this was what God called you to do with your life, you could.”
They smile back. “True,” they say. And it is here where the conversation normally takes a turn, long before one has the chance to delve deep into that truth: What if God DID call me to do what you do?
And then the other day it happened. On cue, without a split second between thought and word. As I watched dear friends of mine from afar, fellow workers in Haiti, friends who foster multiple children all under the age of five round the clock in their own home, I found myself echoing those words underneath my breath: God, I could never do what they do.
No one heard me. Still guilt washed over me like the splashing of a wave. And I could hear the Spirit repeating my own words back to me. That’s not true. If this was what I called you to do with your life, you could.
But isn’t that the truth though?
Too often we limit ourselves- what we are capable of and what we are qualified to do in the kingdom of God. We live in constant comparison, and somehow always place our selves on the “less than” side of the equation.
“I could never teach like her.”
“I could never adopt like that family.”
“I could never live overseas like those missionaries.”
“I could never pray as well as him.”
“I could never lead a Bible study as well as her.”
And we go on and on and on. Doubting our abilities. Doubting what we are capable of as children of God.
You see, when we doubt ourselves, we are in effect, doubting God.
Doubt your ability to serve, then you are doubting God to make you able.
Doubt your calling, then you doubt that God gave you that calling in the first place.
Doubt your purpose, then you doubt your Creator.
When I was 17 I made my first trip to Haiti and met an elderly couple that oversaw an orphanage. Jean jumper, overalls, and all, I remember looking at them and knowing, with out a doubt, I could never do what they do. I even remember thanking God for not calling me to such a life.
And I believe in that moment, that very moment of me believing I never could __________, God chose to teach me about his power within me. A power that makes all of us capable of doing anything he calls us to do.
Seven years later I moved to that exact same orphanage to do the exact same job as that elderly couple who wore jean jumpers and overalls. Still not at all able, but at least fully willing.
And that’s where it all begins, really. Being willing.
Willing to trust God with your life, completely.
Willing to believe his strength inside of you can overpower any of your weaknesses.
Willing to embrace your calling.
Willing to stop comparing.
Willing to let go of doubt.
Willing to surrender all.
Not everyone should do what I do in Haiti because not everyone was called to do what I do in Haiti. And not everyone should do what you do where you are because not everyone was called to do that either.
But if you were called to, you could.
If I was called to, I could.
See where I’m going?
This year, let’s stop undermining the power of God within us. Let’s stop thinking we could never do ____________, but rather have faith that God can equip us all if we are called and willing. And let’s stop comparing our gifts and our callings. Instead, let’s work on building each other up so that the whole body can become stronger.
Let us all make 2017 a year of being willing. Willing to take on whatever God may call us to do. And trust him, no matter how inadequate we may be, that he will supply all we need to be faithful.
Oh yeah, and be careful with voicing your doubts. Because God may just take that one thing you believe you could never, ever do, and make that your thing to do forever. Personal (& yet best ever) experience.