Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Being Available: Where God Met Me In A Room of Six
It wasn't till I made myself available that I discovered God.
The word "available" has been playing itself out in my life lately. Since moving to the suburbs of Philadelphia, everything has been new. Not only is my environment completely different, the people are all new. With this comes the opportunity to be given a new task or adventure. When you meet those in ministry, you will find that they are constantly offering opportunities. At first it feels rather invasive. Over time you begin to realize that the asking is not really about you but about the need, the STRONG need.
I like to feel needed. I think we all do. What has really taken my purpose in this life to another notch is realizing that I cannot say no to something until I have tried it. I was asked if I could tutor some kids. Never really did that before. Now I am doing it. Just that simple. So, through all this growing and vulnerability I have gotten used to the idea of being "available."
This does not mean that I am not shaking in my boots or that I have it all together. It only means that I am willing to fight the fear and claim the promises of God. What is a little stretch and ache in my own growth, for someone else's freedom or need of love? Honestly, through this whole process I have discovered that I am not really a shy person. Go figure.
So with that being said, when I say that I agreed to lead out in a breakout session for a weekend of spiritual reflection and focus, we can all know why. I have never facilitated a discussion. At the time I had no idea what it would take to ask a question and wait for a response. I also had no idea what I should be doing while listening to a response. I know that it is supposed to be a conversation, but there are certain elements of staying on track and keeping the main goal of the discussion in check. I also had no idea what it took to prepare for a room full of people or a one-on-one conversation. I just prepared what I could and moved forward. Shaking in my shoes.
I was asked to speak about a post I made a few weeks ago on 3 Ways to Get Consistent in Devotions, but I titled it "With Us Is God: devotions in a practical light". While I was preparing I discovered this relationship with God that I did not realize I had. Strange, isn't it? How the one who is going to talk about having a relationship with God can feel so unsure? Well, that was me. I had the doubt and fear bouncing back and forth in my head as I prepared. I am not certified or qualified. I am searching just like everyone else. What makes it all worth the effort? My availability. God isn't asking me, or us, for credentials. He just wants us to be ready for His leading.
So I presented my talk and wrote, on a whiteboard, the three guidelines that took me from point A to point B in my relationship with Christ. When I had initially thought of these guidelines, I had thought they were something I had come up with to get closer to God. It was like, "Oh sweet. I made an action and God came through. Awesome!" I seriously, thought I had something there.
Halfway through my testimony, this sudden rush of adrenaline flooded my body. Like a eureka light bulb flashing over my head I had this realization. Those three points that I so carefully came up with weeks ago and decided to write on a whiteboard? They were NOT my own points, they were God's recipe for drawing me in. He so humbly decided to enlightening me with these concepts, sitting back as I claimed them as my own demise, and waited for the light to finally strike in my heart.
I am sure He smiled as I embraced this new concept and spoke out in front of the 6 people I had in the room. He did not want this revelation to be kept inside my heart. He waited for just the right time to share, not only with me, but with those six people. HE is the one that comes up with the formula to gain a relationship with us. HE is the one that has the 3 step program designed just for me.
I then went on to discuss with those six people that God has a formula for each one of us. We just have to be available. And if I had kept myself from being available... just think of what I and those 6 people would have missed out on?
Devotion. We think we have it when we try to keep up with our devotion-als. God is really the One that is devoted, not us. This is my testimony.