Just do it

“The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.”  Psalm 116:6 (NLT)

Something happens to us as we get older.  We have experiences or are affected by the experiences of people in our lives.  Innocence gives way to fear, courage gives in to caution, and trust erodes into paranoia.

A few months ago, I met a young man who was a fairly new Christian.  His passion for God is contagious, and because he is young (both in the faith and in life), he bulldozes through obstacles with a secure faith that God will take care of everything.  Unfortunately, this has gotten him into some trouble along the way, but I’ve also seen the impact he is having on people’s lives.  It reminds me a little of Someone who walked the earth just over 2000 years ago.

There have been waves of similar spiritedness in my own spiritual journey.  About 15 years ago, I was thrust into the world of youth ministry, though not by choice.  There was no one else willing or able to teach those rowdy hooligans in our church, so my husband and I volunteered.  Dan quickly discovered ministering to teenagers was not his niche – he’s much more inclined to love on the little ones – so I was left to lead on my own.  God gave me great compassion and understanding for adolescents, and I was convinced my little pack of monsters was going to change the world.

So, I went to bat for them.  Not having a clue what I was doing, but praying through everything and trusting God’s leading, I became singularly focused on doing the job well.  I dragged those kids to every event within a 300 mile radius, in my own minivan, often being the only adult.  Dan and I even took them to a music festival several hours away, camping in 100 degree heat and enduring a severe thunderstorm one night.  We had no worship band, so we worshipped to CD’s.  We had no curriculum, so I wrote every week’s lesson.  We had very little money; often the costs came out of our family’s personal budget.  Some of these kids were dealing with serious issues – issues I knew nothing about – so I scoured the internet for information and support.

God was at work.  He was doing His thing in these kids’ lives, and I felt like I was just along for the ride.  I can’t remember ever thinking that anything we attempted wouldn’t work, even though sometimes things didn’t quite turn out as planned.  All I knew was that God loved these kids, and He gave me the grace to love them too.

A few years into it, I read a well-known book which explained the best way to do youth ministry.  It was widely hailed in youth ministry circles as brilliant and Biblical.  According to the book, everything I had done up to that point was WRONG.  In fact, some of the things we did were completely dangerous.  Well, I can look back now and see that, but guess what?  No one died.  No one was ever seriously injured.  God didn’t allow it, for whatever reason.  Those are His reasons.  The thing is, we just blazed forward and trusted Him with all of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not suggesting we should be reckless or unnecessarily put kids in harms way.  The things I did were done in ignorance, and fortunately God protected us.  (Thank you, Jesus, that no one ever choked to death playing Chubby Bunny, with both marshmallows and atomic fireballs!)

I’m simply realizing that I need to stop questioning so much when God calls me to do something.  Oswald Chambers said, “Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us, He will look after all the other things. Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the “much more,” it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us, we are taken up with confusing considerations. How much time have we taken up worrying God with questions when we should have been absolutely free to concentrate on His work? Consecration means the continual separating of myself to one particular thing.”

This week, God has laid a heavy burden on my heart for the people of Joplin, Missouri.  He is directing me in ways to help, and yet every step of the way, I can hear those “confusing considerations” in the back of my head.  I think we all know the source of those, and I’m in a battle to knock them out of my brain.

Chances are, you’re hearing from God, too.  You know it in the depths of your heart.  He’s giving you work to do.  Don’t dismiss it away with excuses and fears.  Just do it.

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