Have you ever said no to letting God work in a situation in your life? I have.
It’s usually a situation that I think is too hard, too ugly, or too embarrassing to be redeemed, even in the Lord’s hands. It’s usually something that I think I could never share or say out loud if I ever wanted to be seen as a credible witness to the case of Christ. Or at least a reputable member of society.
The reality is that this is me trying to clean myself up. It’s me trying to save face for ME. It’s me pretending like I don’t need this Savior I’m desperately trying to emanate. It’s me being embarrassed about areas that I’ve fallen so short…as if there were actually days and areas where I didn’t.
This thinking is completely backwards to the way God works.Because what God asks of me is transparency to share what HE has done in my life. What He has redeemed. What ashes He has brought beauty to. What glory He has received in the valley. What He has transformed in the ugliness of my heart “to the praise of his glorious grace” (see Ephesians 1).
So here are a few confessions (I know these are trite, yet still true.):
I have fairly earned 8 speeding tickets, starting the first week I had my driver’s license. And those 8 times are a joke compared to the times I should’ve been caught.
I cheated on a chemistry test in tenth grade by giving answers to a swoony senior boy sitting beside me, earning us both big, fat 0’s.
I ran away twice during my junior year of high school. Yeah, there’s really nowhere to run away to when you’re 16, so that plan didn’t work out so well.
But here’s a serious, big one. I’ve been embarrassed to admit that the financial burden for Annie’s medical bills is substantial, especially this year. It’s hard to admit because we both have college degrees; both have good, stable jobs; both work hard to provide for our family; and both are willing to make sacrifices to pay the bills that are coming (and will continue to come). I’ve kept telling myself that we can figure out some way to handle this. WE can do it…on our own accord.
When will I learn? All I’ve really been doing is saying no to a way that God wants to show Himself in this hard, uncomfortable situation.
A friend approached me and initiated setting up a go fund me account called the Heart for Annie Fund.I was so hesitant to say yes to this idea. How embarrassing to publicly declare that we cannot handle this situation on our own…again, as if there are any situations that we can handle on our own. Ugh! My pride and confidence in myself is disgusting!
So I said yes and thought, We’ll see what happens. Well let me tell you what has happened. God has completely blown me away through the generosity of His people. I have cried my eyes out when every single time I refresh our page the amount donated has increased. When I see the names of people who have given to support our Annie, I cannot even begin to understand what God is doing. All I can say is Thank You!– to many of YOU who are choosing to make this burden lighter for us.
Then I realized that by saying yes to a way that God wanted to work in me, I also said yes to a way that God might be working in others. Because of so many donations and so many posts about our family, God’s story of faithfulness through Annie’s life is being proclaimed in hundreds of places, even in other countries around the world.
I pray that the next time I’m in a hard, uncomfortable situation I’ll say YES to however God wants to use it. Because He does want to use every single big or tiny situation in our lives to show His presence and proclaim His power. Oh, that I might strive to know Him more through whatever means He has instead of boasting in the superficial silliness of this life.