When I start to get too big for my britches, God finds little ways to humble me in big ways. I mean, I can't be too bad, right? I managed to raise 2 good kids - no drugs, alcohol, teen sex, little backtalk, and both claim Christ as their savior. I am working on two more now that say their prayers at every meal and at night, read Bible stories at night, go to church on Sundays, Wednesdays, and sometimes another day or two during the week. I rarely curse, I don't drink, I give money to the poor and homeless (albeit not as much as I should), I sponsor a child. BUT anyone can do the above. And just when I start being impressed with myself, God sends me a message.
Almost two months ago, it was through a middle aged homeless woman in the Wal-Mart parking lot. She needed diapers and food. I did some shopping and delivered the goods, but I felt CONVICTED. A couple of weeks ago, I was given an assignment and like Jonah, I tried to run, but God brought me back to my Nineveh and said, "GO." Last night in class, I was reminded yet again of my responsibility to participate in the spread of the gospel. I looked at my life and realized that while what I was doing was worthwhile, it isn't all I am supposed to be doing. I have been NEGLECTFUL. Neglectful of my relationship with Christ. I am not in His word as often as I ought to be and my prayers sometimes are disjointed, rambling, and jumbled. I have been neglectful with my obedience to God. I have robbed Him of my time, money, and heart. I have been neglectful of my role in sharing the gospel. It is not my responsibility to save those around me, but God can use me as a tool while he saves those around me. I have not been an effective tool in His quest. Matthew 28:19-20 does not say, "Therefore if you feel like it, go and make disciples of all nations...". Sharing God's word is not optional for anyone. Acts 1:8 says, "...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” There is no option here either. We are to share God's love. And I have been neglectful.
Today I added to my list, reluctant. We were given another assignment last night in class, one I felt confident I could handle. Then today, my chance arose to do the right thing. I wasn't going to be reluctant like Philip or Peter or Saul. But I was. My chance came and rather than jumping on it and doing a random act of kindness to a complete stranger I blew it. I organized it and thought it out and by the time I was ready...they were gone. I feel like not just reluctant or neglectful, but ashamed. I am convicted.
Even though I feel like I couldn't be any lower and I wonder why God has put me on the Youth Ministry Team, Women's Ministry Team, has made me a mother of four and wife, and has blessed me with the opportunity in the vine. I keep thinking I am so totally unequipped for these roles and I am not worthy. AND I AM RIGHT. Only through God's grace am I able to call myself saved. Only through God's grace am I not nailed to a cross to die for my sins. Only through God's grace am I allowed to participate in His kingdom work. God uses those of us who are broken so when the most amazing work is done, everyone knows it is not because of me but because of HIM. I am so thankful for days like today, even though my pride is wounded and my heart is heavy. It reminds me that I am who I am and HE IS WHO HE IS and THANK GOD HE IS! If I was able to do this on my own, I wouldn't need Him. And without Him I am nothing. While these lessons can hurt and break my heart, I thank Him for the lesson. It makes me fall face down in front of my King and thank Him for His grace, His mercy, His love, and His awe-inspired salvation.
So, yes, I am neglectful of what the King deserves. But I am going to try to do better. Yes, I am going to fail from time to time when I lean on my own resources. But He has my back and He will catch me when I fall.
I LOVE MY MERCIFUL, SAVING, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-FORGIVING, GRACE-FILLED, GOD AND SAVIOR. Because He is always faithful to me, even when I am not.