Where do you go from here?
If you have joined me in thinking on my topic the last couple of days you might be thinking, "OKAY, now what? Thanks for the guilt trip, Alisha. I think I will just go mow my yard now, because it is Saturday and Saturday is my day to mow the lawn. The only difference now is that I will feel bad for mowing my lawn instead of feeling good for taking care of the things God has blessed me with. Real cool, jerk face!" (sarcasm font)
What did I do today? I took a bunch of our stuff to a friend's house with the hopes that it would be sold at their garage sale while my kids played with their kids, and I loved it. I made a little over $30 and I had a great time doing it. Chances are good that you do not fly to Liberia today because of the video you watched yesterday. So, the question must be asked, "Where do we go from here!?!
A few things I want to briefly bullet point.
1. My passion for this topic is very small compared to Tim Ludy, whose videos I showed. I am not here to make myself out to be some sort of hero. I know I am not. I know I have not done my fair share to help with this problem. My approach is not the same as Tim's. I do not advocate that you not sleep well until ever child in Liberia has 3 square meals a day. I want you to sleep! Every single day if you can! :) All joking aside, I must say I do admire his passion, and his willingness to call believers to a higher standard of living. I showed his videos because I agree with him even if I don't have all the answers, the enthusiasm he has, or a grand plan to solve the monstrous problem at hand.
2. We cannot fix everyone's problems, and to try to do so will only wear us out until we have nothing left to give. We are not God, but we can be instruments for God to use. God is not calling his people to run themselves into the ground. He does not have an expectation of you that you would solve ALL of the world's problems. He will call you to do one thing, and he will call another believer to do something else. The fact still remains, SOMEONE must help the child in Liberia! He loves to call believers together to tackle a major issue...to join in unity and do much more good than if each person tried to work alone. He loves for the passion of one believer to spur on the passion of other believers. (you know, his idea of the church and all)
3. To avoid his nudges when he offers you practical things YOU can do to love on his children, might be a deliberate act of disobedience. This is between you and God. You know what indifference looks like in your realm of influence. I am not here to judge you. YOU are loved no matter what. This does not change God's love for you. He loves you so much! He knows that YOUR life will be better, more richly blessed, when you GIVE your life away to the cause of helping others, and so he wants that for you. He loves you and because he loves you he invites you to join him in carrying out his big plan and to experience the joy and the thrill of knowing you got to be part of what the God of the UNIVERSE is up to!
4. We must wait on God to give us our "marching orders". (this is a term I have heard Susie Larson use many times before, and I love it) Susie often times says this, "An un-appointed work is an un-annointed work". If God is not calling you to a thing and you jump forward and take action just so you can feel like you are doing something, the thing(s) you set out to do will not be blessed. You are not doing yourself, or anyone else, any favors by working ahead of God's timing.
5. We need to wait on God to give us our marching orders, but then, when he gives them to us we jump on them! God's good news to you is this: He has already planned good things for you to do with your life. He already has a purpose for you. You just walk in it. Who you are is unique and what he has for you to do is unique! I have been intentionally vague in these past two posts for that very reason. Check out these two verses, and see if it calms your spirit just a tad:
6. Draw close to God and he will draw close to you. You want to know what is weighing on God's heart? Draw close to him. What does that look like? Prayer, reading your Bible, asking God to reveal his plan for you, seeking Him, seeking opportunities to serve him, and boldly moving forward when he calls you to. It starts with prayer, quiet time, being alone with him and acknowledging where he is already at work. If you are feeling stuck, I will share my prayer so that you can make it your own if you wish, or tweak it to fit what your heart is trying to cry out to God right now:
"Your hands have made me and fashioned me." - Job 10:8
Dear God,It's a start. You gotta start somewhere, right?
I very much want to be a part of your big plan here on earth. I want to know that my life meant something to the lives you allowed me to be a part of. I do not want to stay focused on all my worries to the point that I do nothing to help others who are so much worse off than I am. I want to be a vessel that you can pour out of. Pour your love out of me so the people I touch will know you are a God that loves them. If there is something specific you want me to be doing for someone across the world, open my eyes and my heart to that person (or those people) and their situation(s). Give me eyes to see the broken-hearted, the hurting, the abused, the neglected, and the lost. Give me a heart that breaks for them and reaches out to them...both near and far. Give me my unique marching orders in my life. Teach me what it means to be your hands and feet in this world. I cannot take on all the problems of this world, but I am more than happy to join you in managing my one little tiny part of your great big plan. Bless what little I have to give and make it much. Draw me away from anything that would be a distraction to your bigger plan. Bring people around me who I can join with to make a bigger impact for your kingdom, Lord. Keep me far from the lusts of this world that give empty promises of instant satisfaction only to leave me feeling disappointed, ashamed, lost, lonely, and confused. Give me a greater cause-- one that I can be proud of, and one that brings greater fulfillment when I find my peace, joy, comfort, strength, hope and divine purpose in YOU, Lord! Amen.
If you are EAGER to get started in doing your part I want to throw out one option that is easy, quick, and very manageable for most people in the United States. I am a fan of Compassion International. I have heard enough stories to know that this organization is completely legitimate in what it sets out to do. You get to choose a child, by picture, whom you would like to sponsor. By sponsoring, you are agreeing to make a tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month. Your money connects your child with this loving, church-based child sponsorship program that provides:
- Food and clean water
- Medical care
- Educational opportunities
- Important life-skills training
- Most important of all, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.
Tomorrow's wrap up on this topic (I think) :
What to do if you are the one whose needs are not being met!
What to do if you are the one whose needs are not being met!