I just finished reading the book Reckless Faith and it was so good...well, good isn't even the right word. It was awesome! It came at a time in my life when I really needed it. Besides giving me the urgent feeling to pack my bags and my family and move to Mexico to minister in an orphanage and adopt a houseful of children, it also taught me lot of things...some things I already knew but just needed to be reminded of.
1. Jesus can use me. It's a simple thought but it is so true. I kind of feel like growing up I was pressured to make sure I got a college education because I would just not be able to make anything of my life if I didn't have that on my resume. And, honestly, that has been something that has weighed on me these last couple of years because I didn't finish college so I don't have a degree. God had actually been impressing this on my heart before I read this book that it doesn't matter what kind of formal education I have because it's not about what I can do but what God can do through me. And whatever I am able to do outside of my own abilities is just that much more pointing to Him working in my life. The lady who wrote the book, Beth Guckenberger, actually had a degree in Education but God used her so much more beyond that. And many of the people she spoke of in this book were not even educated past junior high and went on to lead awesome lives because they allowed God to use them.
2. It's not about me. Seriously. It's not about me. All this talk about me and my education I still feels like points back to me. I am learning...and it's a slow process...that this life is not about me. And if I could just let that settle in and take up residence, God could use me so much more. I am learning that God will be glorified. And God's will will be done. I just may miss out on being a part of it if I don't die to self and let Him take control.
3. God's plan doesn't always make sense. I love pulling for the underdog. And that is one of the attributes of God that speaks most to me..."He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might he increases strength." (Isaiah 40:29) I love the Beatitudes because they speak of hope...the underdog always wins! If God did everything that made sense to the world, why would we need Him? If the rich man always won what hope would we have? It is when we recognize ourselves as sinners and in need of Him that we are truly lifted up because we are forgiven and our strength is renewed.
4.Orphaned and abandoned children are a big deal. Okay, so I already knew this but it has just never been something that I thought much about. The second day I was reading this book I had to stop because Caleb woke up so I went and got him out of his bed and I sat and rocked him for a few minutes. As I was rocking him, the thought occurred that there are MILLIONS of babies and children out there who have no one to hold them and rock them and tell them that they love them. And even more than that, that there is no one to tell them that God loves them and that they are important and that God does have a plan for their little lives. I take for granted a lot of times the two little lives that have been entrusted to me and there are many days that I miss out on opportunities to show them a glimpse of Jesus because I let my busyness and my feelings get in the way.
5. Make every opportunity count. I am very much an instant gratification person. I want to see results. But I am learning that God does not always show me what I want to see right away...because...again...it's not about me. There are several things that I have been praying about and honestly getting a little discouraged about but I am learning that I may not see results this side of eternity. But God is God and He will be glorified. And I am glad I don't know everything.
6. See people how God sees them. I am a cup-is-half-full kind of person. I usually try to see the best in people. But even "seeing the best in people" isn't really seeing them how God sees them. I love how in this book, Beth was talking about how prostitutes and drug dealers are just orphaned and abandoned adults. It really taught me to look past what I see on the outside and the situation they are in and see them how God sees them...lost sheep. He would leave His 99 other sheep to go find them...so they are important. And even though they may never be able to do anything for me, and I may be put in uncomfortable situations and even though I may never see the end result, God has called me to reach out to those people and love them just like Jesus loves them.
SO with all that...I don't know if I am supposed to uproot our family to another country or adopt a houseful of children...but I do know that I need to obey God in the small things. I know that I can't reach every person around the world, but I do know that I can reach my neighbors and my friends and the lady in the check-out line. I need to strive to be uncomfortable...to let God take control...to have a reckless faith.
"For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11