If I’m being complete honest, I have to admit that sometimes I’m scared to be used by the Lord. I’m scared of the effort that it will take, I’m scared of how far it will stretch me. And I’m scared that it will take me to places where I am not comfortable going.
I try to wake up saying, Lord please use me for your glory… and by the end of the day I am saying, but please not there Lord. I will do anything, but do I have to do that?
Some days I struggle with the people I come in contact with and I think, surely Lord you don’t want me to be nice to them? I want to serve you and be a witness, but surely I don’t have to have a relationship with them to do that. I want to run in the other direction. I don’t want to be stretched that far. I don’t want to have to constantly be in prayer that I will hold my tongue and not say what I think.
I (maybe naively) have always thought of myself as someone who was fairly easy to get along with. Yet there have definitely been some relationships in my life that have really stretched me. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there were times when I wondered if those relationships were worth it and whether just cutting all ties would make life easier.
There are times when I feel like God has directed someone into my life so that we can be a mutual blessing to each other and I have turned to run in the other direction because I didn’t want to deal with the fact that a relationship with them comes along with some added baggage. Baggage that I feel isn’t worth the added stress.
A few weeks ago as I pondered turning to run from one of those relationships, the story of Jonah resonated with me. God called Jonah to a task he had no interest in completing. He told him to go to Ninevah and preach against the wickedness there. And Jonah didn’t want to. But the Bible doesn’t say Jonah ran away from the hard task when he refused to do what the Lord called him to do. Instead Jonah 1:3 says, “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.”
Whoa. Um, so when I refuse to love those unlovable people that God has called me to love… I’m actually running away from Him? That definitely puts my heart in check a little bit (ok… a lot). God didn’t call me to only do that which is easy. He didn’t promise me that there wouldn’t be seasons in my life where I am stretched a little. And while I find myself fighting to bite my tongue a lot more these days, I know that those relationships that I am trying to kindle are worth it. And God is teaching me so much during this season about how to love Him, and love others, and about how to look for the good in the people that I’m around.
It isn’t easy, and there are still days when I find myself having to put myself in check before I say something that I shouldn’t, but I am learning that during these seasons of stretching that God is teaching me to rely solely on Him. And not only that, I find myself in a constant state of prayer, asking that He will guide my thoughts and my actions towards Him in all that I say and do.
Anyone else feel like God is calling them to do something that they just aren’t ready or willing to do? I’m praying that God will show you the rewards of obedience and how to rely on Him, even when the task seems impossible.