Jump In and Get WetBlog / Produced by The High Calling
I remember the day clearly. I was a counselor at a youth camp on the first day of a new session, enjoying the excitement of my campers as they unpacked and picked bunks. Suddenly, a camper burst through the door.
"How could you?" she yelled. "What did you do that for?"
I had never seen this camper before. I had no idea what she was talking about, so I suggested we take a walk. Soon, we found ourselves by the river.
Frightened and angry, she confessed she had a knife strapped to her leg. As the water flowed by, her story emerged. Her pain poured out, and she eventually relinquished the weapon. She softened that day, allowing a bit of the love around her to touch her in a place where she'd formerly been alone. Later, I marveled at the odd way in which God had used me. Be careful what you ask for, I thought, remembering my daily prayer that God flow through me and use me as he saw fit. The incidents of that day felt like a torrential current carrying me along as I prayed to stay afloat. Although it had been frightening, it was an exhilarating reminder of how God could use me to do his work.
I still say a similar prayer each morning, although rarely with such dramatic results. As a psychotherapist, I've never had a client bring a weapon to my office, but I often hear of pain that cuts as deep as any knife. I've learned that my role is to be fully present and available. I trust that somehow along the way God can use me to heal a tiny bit of the pain that exists in the world.
The pastor of our church encourages us to notice each day how God is nudging us to bring forth our gifts. It's a nice idea, but in my life God's call often feels more like a shove. In those moments, it's natural to resist or become afraid I'l drown in my own ineptitude. I can empathize with Moses, who responded to God's bold claim on his life with a reluctant "Who, me?" He wanted to stay small, but he was called to something more challenging. Moses couldn't have known the role he would play in the days and months to come. He just said "yes" and the adventure began, complete with regular supplies of strength and guidance along the way.
So much of the work of serving God comes down to trust. We respond to his call by jumping in and saying "yes" to wherever the river takes us. There are days I'd rather stay on the bank and watch others navigate the current. "I'll just stay dry today, God, but thanks all the same." But I've learned God wants us to get wet.
"Use me today"is the grandest of invitations and the most risky. We can't know what lies around the next bend, but it's not our job to worry about that. With any luck and with enough prayer, we'll not only stay afloat, we'll have some fun.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
(1 Cor. 15:58)