Monday, May 11, 2015

The Faith of Showing Up

It is an amazing thing to be used by God, to be His hands and feet.  I have learned from my work here in Guatemala that what God calls us most to do is simply to show up.  That is an act of faith.  I believe that we Christians (especially American Christians) tend to overthink and complicate things a great deal.  We think we must have a master plan, be thinking ten steps ahead, to provide the best help as possible.  There is wisdom to that to be sure, we should be thinking!  But sometimes it tends to paralyze us to the point that we do nothing at all.  The problem is too big, we say.  It is like not feeding a hungry person because we can’t solve the problem of world hunger.  It’s not taking a step to help somebody in need at the moment because that help is not sustainable or we might begin a cycle of dependence (as if we’re not all dependent on God to provide for us in the first place).  We think of all these bigger problems and it keeps us from taking that first step, just to show up and see how God moves.  It’s okay not to have a grand plan.  It’s okay to be unsure of why you are even there.  

I have seen God use me in this way over and over again.  Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing, sometimes lacking even a clear objective, but I visit a house, I show up, and little by little I find God blessing that person, that family, through these visits.  It is God that does it, of that I’m sure.  In any particular moment I may not feel His hand, but when I look back, I see how He has directed me ever so subtly.  This happens EVEN WHEN I DON’T FEEL PARTICULARLY “IN THE SPIRIT” as the phrase goes (though if we are Christian the Spirit is with us always, even if we choose not to be aware of it).

I write all this not to pat myself on the back, but to show how amazing God is.  He uses me DESPITE my weaknesses.  I struggle with bad attitudes and low faith.  Sometimes Maria and I show up to a house after a day filled with disputes and conflicts with each other.  Sometimes we show up at a LOW or a valley in our walk with Him.  But God uses us even in that state.

On one particular hard day, we showed up to the house of a girl we were thinking about putting in the scholarship program.  It was the end of the day, we were tired, feeling defeated, but we went.  That day the girl decided to open her heart to us, sharing how her dad had died from alcoholism, and she wanted to continue in school to help her mom.  Maria felt moved to give her a hug and we prayed for her.  She is now receiving a scholarship from WIND.

If we wait to be in the perfect mood or attitude to do good, we will miss so many opportunities and ways God wants to use us.  He wants to use us right here, right now.  Even if we don’t have a plan or a great attitude in the moment.

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, that God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

I write this as an exhortation to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  SHOW UP!  Do you know somebody in need but not sure of how you can help?  Do you know somebody who is struggling but don’t know what you can say?  Perhaps God put these people in your path for a reason and what He is asking you to do is simply to show up.  Do so while praying, do so being open to the Holy Spirit inside you.  GOD WILL USE YOU!  That has been our experience.

I hope in the coming weeks to share a few stories, how the Spirit has led us to certain people, how we have had the honor to be a part of answers to prayers, and how God has been glorified through it all.  

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