Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Are You Willing?

Matthew 4:24  News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering with severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and He healed them.

Every now and again you get a stirring, deep in your soul, that God is doing something big.  No, not big, huge.  It's a cross between nervous butterflies, overwhelming fear, and gut-wrenching hope. Slowly it begins to creep up inside of you, to the point that you feel as if you will burst, but you don't know where or when it will happen and who it will cover in the process.  That's where I am.

In the past couple of weeks I have finished two books, and continue to work on the third.  First, Rebekah Lyons book You Are Free releases today.  This book opened my eyes to areas of bondage I didn't know I had.  There is no doubt God put it in my hands for purposes yet to be revealed that go way beyond the obvious blessings it has already brought.  Second, is Kyle Idleman's new book, Grace Is Greater that releases next week.  Nothing was more shocking than finding a bitter root had grown inside me that I didn't even know existed, never mind the fact that I'd been cultivating it for years. Third is The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.   This book has to be read slowly and digested intentionally because it is a heavy dose of what it means to share in the sufferings of Christ and what that looks like in the individual life.  It is convicting in the best possible way.

That said, the first two books, I was divinely selected to be part of the book launch process.  If you know anything about that, I'd liken it to winning the lottery.  Tons of people apply to review the book before it's released and so getting picked to be one of 500 is not a guarantee.  Clearly, God has gone out of His way on this one which makes me all the more grateful and nervous at the same time.  The overlapping nature of these messages is not a coincidence which can only mean that a birth of some sort is looming in the very near future.

So what does all of this have to do with Matthew's account of Jesus healing those who were brought to him?

Years ago, I felt God place a call on my life to go back to teaching.  After some long conversations with Him, and the absolute realization that I can not return to the elementary classroom, I soon discovered that in some capacity yet to be realized, God wanted me to teach His word.  I have no idea how He plans on working that out if it will ever go beyond this blog.  But considering my love of writing, this is certainly good for now and I am beyond thankful for the opportunity.

But it occurred to me that people who write or teach are trying in their own small way to help others get better.  They, like me, have an insatiable desire to see people realize who Jesus is in all of His glory, love, and perfection.  It becomes painful to watch people do things the hard way knowing that Jesus wants to see them through whatever valley they seem to be stuck in.  But an amazing thing happens in the process.  When you become the hands and feet to help others get better, you get better yourself.

I think about the people that were brought to Jesus at this time and those who brought them.  They viewed their loved ones as needing the ultimate healing from something that was tangible. But in their desire to see another made well, they witnessed miracles that would have greatly affected themselves and healed things that were intangible and maybe not even a part of their conscious awareness.  That's just who Jesus is.  He takes your desire to help one and uses it to help you.

I don't know what's around the corner for me.  I have something on my calendar that could make the books I've finished and the one I'm reading the groundwork for a road I'd rather not walk.  But either way, I feel prepared.  At least as prepared as I can be for the unknown.  But if my journey, whatever it looks like, is used to help someone else grow closer to Jesus, then whatever it is, will be worth it. Nothing will ever be a better use of my time than pointing others to the one who saved me from myself.

Jesus, You came to save us.  You left the comfort of Your home to reveal to us the freedom you desire us to have, the grace you want to give, and the life you want us to live.  Open our eyes to see the opporutnities you place before for us to help others and in turn help ourselves.  Whether we have visited a doctor or not, we are all the sick and dying and You have the ability to heal what ails us.  It's in Your precious name we pray, amen.

No comments: