|A bit of God's Handiwork, captured by the lens of the Big Bison.|
A moment where a verse came alive for you in a way that it never had before?
Quite a few years ago, a woman who had been a true spiritual mentor for me needed to step down from her leadership position in a Bible study I was involved in, due to circumstances that had arisen in her family's life. Losing weekly contact with her was a lot like having a nurse take an IV out of my arm - an IV that was weekly providing me with words that were bringing me life, encouragement, inspiration and hope. It was tough, really, really tough to hear that she was leaving us. I could tell, in fact, the second that she started speaking what she was about to say, and it seemed like my breath caught in my throat, and my heart stopped beating in that moment.
Part of me wanted to stand up, grab her shoulders, and cry: "No! No! NO!!!".
Have you ever had a time where somebody was telling you something that you almost could not bear to hear? Because you knew that part of the sweetness that you had enjoyed in your life up to that moment was about to be taken from you? And everything inside of you wanted to beg: "Don't say it! Don't say it!"? As if not saying the words could somehow prevent the loss from happening?
God, who works in all things for the good of those who love Him, was going to use this circumstance in my life to grow me up a bit, and make me more dependent on Him, and less dependent on her, but it still tore me up inside, to lose contact with this dear sister.
So, I sat there with tears in my eyes and my heart laid wide open as she spoke her farewell to our group. And this is what she said, that has stuck with me, like a theme in my life.
She spoke of her regret at having to leave. She spoke of how through the years, in her position as teacher of that class, that she had felt like she had found one of the works God had prepared in advance for her to do. She spoke of the great joy, the great satisfaction, that she got from teaching that class, because she KNEW that she was exercising the gifts that God had given her. But there was a family member who was dying, and she was a trained nurse, and hadn't God equally equipped her to do THAT very job as well? "For such a time as this", right? And doesn't family always come first? (To my way of thinking: absolutely. It goes without saying.) So with great sadness, she was taking her leave of our group.
For me, the takeaway thought, the pivotal moment, came from this verse, from the book of Ephesians.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
If that is true, then
What are the good works that God has prepared in advance for me to do?
Life is short. All too short.
But I don't want to miss out on doing whatever it is that he has called me to do.
My virtual friend Legume did a lovely post today that kind of touched on that subject. I truly believe from reading her poignant words that she has found a place of peace within herself about the work that she has been prepared to do for this season in her life. And what she is doing, in my opinion, was absolutely perfectly designed for her. She understands her own personality, and knows that her path may be different from the path that others are called to follow, but she is finding contentment and joy in the path that is hers. She is doing the good works that God prepared in advance for her to do.
Sometimes, many times, I feel like I'm just making it up as I go along.
Wouldn't it be nice to get a celestial email note in my inbox from heaven?
Dear Susan in the Boonies,
Today, your job is to write a post on .... Your writing has been a bit superficial lately: might want to increase your time reading my Word. Don't worry: I'll help you write it!
With you, and in you,
The Holy Spirit.
Clean the toilet for cryin' out loud, today, wouldja? Remember: I'm with you always - even in the dirty bathroom. Cleanliness really is next to Me.
Don't forget to train your child in taking responsibility for those missed assignments! Helping those kids learn THEIR OWN sense of responsibility is YOUR responsibility. But you can do it! And I'll help!
Recently, I've had occasion to hear some people voice their disdain for blogging.
(But anyone who really DID feel that way, wouldn't be here right now reading this anyway, right? :-D )
Yes, it's bothered me. And, in many cases, I think they're right. There is lots and lots of junk that you can easily find on blogs. And it's also possible that what I'm doing here falls into the category of junk.
But all I know, at this point, is that very often, when I do this, this writing thing, in the words of Eric Liddell from "Chariots of Fire", "I feel His pleasure".
So, to do the good works that God has prepared in advance for ME to do, all I really know to do at this point is:
#1) Pray and try to discern what I think the good works are that He has prepared in advance for me to do.
#2) Do the next thing.
If I figure out anything else for certain, I'll alert the media.
Thanks for taking your valuable time to read this.
I wonder if you ever think about the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to do. I'd love to hear your thoughts.