Why is it, that God rarely asks us to do things that are easy? I mean, wouldn’t it be great if my conversations with God sounded something like this:
“Rosalynn, eat 3 donuts before you get to work today…”
“Easy peasy Lord, challenge accepted.”
“Rosalynn, sing some crazy song you made up off of the top of your head just to make your co-workers laugh.”
“Sure thing Lord…you drop the beat, I’ll get the lyrics…”
Instead it’s more like:
“Rosalynn I want you to face difficult things in ministry that scare you to death and will make you cry..”
“Uhhhh…Hold that thought, God…”
“No worries my daughter, I’ve got time…”
God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?!
One thing you may not know about me is, that I volunteer in the youth department at my church. Every Sunday I spend an hour with 6th grade girls, trying to make an impact on their lives, the best I can with one hour a week. (And that’s if they come every week.) I’m not the only teacher in our class, so the other teachers and I take turns pouring into the hearts of these girls each week, praying that God will somehow make the most of the limited time we have with them.
I soooo do not feel cut out for this task the Lord has trusted me with. These girls intimidate me even though they are only 11 and 12 years old. I worry that I don’t know enough to lead someone else. I worry that what I have to say sounds crazy or irrelevant to the particular group of students I have. I worry the other leaders will feel as though I’ve missed the mark, or that I’m not as good at this, as someone who’s done this for many years. I worry I will make the girls feel like they aren’t important to me, because sometimes I forget their names. I worry that I will be too harsh on them, when I make them put their phones away, and command their undivided attention. Student ministry is difficult for me.
Saturday night, the night before I was supposed to teach, I texted one of the other leaders. I was dealing with some other really difficult things in my life, and I truly didn’t think I had the heart to deal with those things, and my daddy issues all at the same time. She was understanding, and we agreed that I would just teach on the next lesson in the book. No big deal, right ?
Except when I woke up Sunday morning, that little voice inside of me said “do it anyway…this IS a big deal…”
Why did God ask me to do something so difficult?!
Doesn’t He know that talking about that makes me cry? I don’t want to cry in front of a bunch of girls I barely know. What if they think I’m a weirdo? What if they have great fathers and they just see me as some weepy mess and miss the whole point of the lesson? (Do it anyway.)
What about the other leaders? What if they see the depth of the pain in my own heart and somehow judge me for it? Will they second guess letting me teach again when they see how much I still struggle myself? (It’s ok if they do, that’s a heart matter for them, not you.)
What about my own daughter? How am I supposed to talk about this with my daughter sitting right next to me? She has no idea how wounded I have been by my own dad. She doesn’t know much about him at all. How can I talk honestly about my pain when I don’t want HER to see me cry? (Sometimes it’s good for your kids to see you cry.)
I was as brave as I could be, and went through with the lesson. I cried through the entire thing. Those poor girls have probably never seen so much snot and mascara on one face, in all their lives. The classroom was very quiet that morning as the girls just sat and let me pour my heart out. At the very end of the class, I overheard one girl tell another, “that was really good.” and in that moment I knew my tears were worth it. Maybe I sowed a seed, for Jesus.
I have no clue what the girls in my class took from my lesson and all of my tears, but I do know there is more honesty in tears than in a thousand empty words. I could say anything in the world to them, but seeing the truth pour down my cheeks would make so much more of an impact on them, than anything I could ever said. Honestly, I have no idea what their dads are like. Maybe their dads are great and this lesson was for my benefit more than theirs. Only time will tell. I really have no idea if they struggle with seeing the Lord as good, and true, and faithful, and safe, because of who their dads are…maybe their faith is stronger than mine. One thing I do know for sure is, there were more tears than just mine in that classroom that morning. I’m not sure if they cried because I was crying, or if they cried because of their own life…but God knows. My hope is if someday they do struggle like I do, they will remember what I said. Maybe they will remember our talk and have the chance to speak truth into someone else’s life, because I was willing to do something so difficult for me. I pray that the Lord will bless my words in their precious hearts. I know He will make something good out of this, since He asked me to do such a difficult thing.
Is God asking you to something difficult? Is He asking you to reach out to someone who may need you? Is He asking you to share your testimony? Is He asking you to serve in a ministry or become a missionary? Is He asking you to support a missionary in faith He will provide your needs too? Maybe God wants you to teach a Sunday School class, or volunteer with a non-profit. Whatever difficult thing God is asking you to do, I pray you will trust that He will carry you through it, if He is asking you to do it.