I like to bake, so I make cookies at least once a week. My kids know the sound of the Kitchenaid turning on and they immediately yell, “I call the spinner!” and whoever yells first gets to lick the spinner attachment when I’m done. It’s a bit Lord of the Flies around here sometimes. Never fear though, I do give everyone else a spoonful of batter to eat, but they are all so focused on the prize of the “spinner” they can’t understand that they really get more cookie dough if the get a spoon. Today my 6 year old won the “spinner” and my almost 3 year old was mad! He cried and cried, even after I gave him a spoon of dough. He’s holding this spoonful of dough and crying because he wants that “spinner” which he perceives as better. I had to laugh at the irony of it. He’s so focused on what he doesn’t have that he cannot enjoy what’s right in his hand.
We are like that sometimes. We got focused on something we want and we see those around us who have it and feel jealous. We think if only we had that thing then we could be happy or do something great. We loose sight of all the good things we have in our hands right now. I was asked to be on the prayer team at church. It’s a group of people who stand at the front of the church during prayer time and people come down and ask you to pray for them about this thing or that. My husband Glenn is on this team so they asked me to join him. Some people would think that was no big deal, but to me it’s a big deal. It’s WAY outside my comfort zone. The very first week I thought I would just tag along with Glenn and observe and figure out how this whole prayer thing works. Not that I don’t know how to pray, but praying for other people out loud is not something I am used to and it scared me a lot! That first week I ended up getting pushed into praying for someone by myself and it’s been that way every week since. Talk about jumping into the pool head first. I used to think, and still do sometimes, if I could just be like this person or that person then God could use me. There are so many people at church who pray better than me. I know it’s not a competition, but still, some people just know what to say and how to really move heaven. I feel so incompetent. I’ve never really prayed for other people before and I feel like they expect more than I can give. The first time I prayed I just did my best and as I stood there searching for the right words, God gave them to me. I allowed myself to be used and he did just that. I think admitting I had no idea what I was doing and He was going to have to help was the key. I have been praying for people for about a month now and I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing but at least I feel a little more comfortable. It gets easier if you just keep doing it.
Yesterday I was praying for a woman I look up to. Honestly I was surprised she asked me to pray for her. I felt unworthy to do that, but I did. I told her how much I admired her and she said something back to me that surprised me. She told me she admired me too and learned from me. I was thinking, “yeah, I can’t imagine that”, but she was sincere. What that taught me was two things. First, don’t assume that God can’t use you to do big things just because you feel unable or unqualified. Just step forward in what you feel He is calling you to do and he will give you the ability to do it as you need it. Second, don’t assume that people can’t learn from you just because you feel like a rookie. God uses all his children for his purposes not just those who seem to be the most mature.
I’m trying to learn to step forward and be bold in what God calls me to. That is not easy, most of the time. God doesn’t call you to comfortable stuff and he doesn’t call you at comfortable times. If you just look at our life right now it’s a mess. My mom just moved in with us after being in the hospital, we are trying to clean our her house and sell it. Glenn is super busy at work, Joshua and Kaki are struggling and we just had a miscarriage at the end of this summer. Not great timing for stepping forward into new things, but God calls when He sees fit not when we do. God has his hand on all these things. They aren’t a surprise to him and He had all this planned from the beginning so I will trust that He knows what he’s doing and as I step forward into challenging things for Him, He will provide the time and resources to do those things. Not my will, but His.