A couple of days ago I received an email from my mother in law responding to my blog I Surrender All. First of all let me say that mom Mangerchine doesn’t offer advice or opinions often, so when she does you know to shut up and listen and it is very valuable because she doesn’t just carelessly throw out words. She wouldn’t admit it, but her email was filled with wisdom. She wouldn’t take credit for it, or think of herself in this way, but her email was filled with encouragement. More importantly she answered God’s call to minister to someone in need. Thanks mom, I appreciate it!!!! (Have you rolled your eyes yet?). I’m not going to copy and paste her email for fear of getting her real annoyed at me, but I will reflect on a couple of points that I found insightful.
She pointed out that through the Bible God spends a lot of time preparing people, that He in fact spends more time preparing people than actually using them. This speaks to my heart right now because for a while Jeremy and I have felt that we have been in a season of preparation, and I have been wondering for what. We have so many great mentors, and have had such amazing opportunities that all seem to be growing us in the Lord and preparing us for something. I should stop looking ahead so much and really just relish in the moment of God’s work in us. She also pointed out that God can use anyone to accomplish His tasks, He’s more concerned about the work that He wants to do in us. I keep waiting for my tasks and assignments from the Lord and overlooking the stinking filthy areas of my heart. As a natural “doer” and more task oriented person it’s easy for me to look for things that I need to do for God and ways to serve Him and forget that all He wants is my heart fully devoted and surrendered to Him. Without that any works and service is in vain. One final tidbit of insight that she gave was that it’s not as much about being available to go to the exact right place and do the exact right thing as it is to be available where you find yourself. So often I hear people get caught up in needing their flashing sign or signal from God on exactly what they are supposed to do (and I do that also), or how they are to handle a given situation (and sometimes He does make it very clear in situations). But I like mom’s outlook on this. That it may not be so much about the specific situation, as it is about surrendering to God wherever you are. Isn’t that what’s most important anyway? She used the example that Joseph didn’t choose to be sold into slavery, but God was preparing him to save a nation, and Joseph was available to do God’s work. For me, my job has times where I really don’t enjoy it, and then times where I’m thriving and loving it and feeling fulfilled. The times when I’m the most fulfilled are always the times when I’m making myself available to God, being aware of opportunities to minister to others throughout my day, and being in communion with Him throughout my day. So whatever the circumstances, wherever you find yourself, just fully make yourself available to God in that and He will take care of the rest. That takes a lot of the pressure off of a lot of the other decisions if you don’t necessarily have the pressure of needing to go to the exact right place, at the exact right time and wait for your flashing sign, then it makes things so much easier. If you can use some of your will, talents, interest and gifts in your decisions and just make the ultimate decision to be available for God no matter where you end up then that should be a lot less stressful.
Relieved of much pressure,