I went through a season when I didn’t feel like I was doing much for God. I carried guilt and anxiety that I should be doing more. I don’t know if I compared myself to my friends or if I desperately wanted the affirmation that “good works” afford, but somehow I found myself with an unhealthy opinion that I wasn’t good enough.
At this time, I also had a baby, a two year old and a four year old. Looking back now, I should have known that I was doing an amazing work of God—raising future Kingdom Leaders—but the role as a mother plays out much like an unseen missionary. Sometimes you don’t realize the pivotal part you play until you see the fruit forming in your children’s lives. And very few people around you see the sacrifices you make and how hard you work.
Finally, one day I decided that I was going to do some street witnessing, carrying all my kids with me. I planned on buying Bibles and talking to three people each day about Jesus. I honestly must have been wearing rose-colored glasses because how anyone can get anything done with three needy bodies and souls with them 24/7 is beyond me.
The first day, I loaded the kids up in the car and drove to my first stop: Starbucks. I was going to talk to the drive-through Barista about Jesus; and long lines, rushed orders and honking cars would not stop me! When I pulled up to the window, I instantly looked for something to say that would break the ice. When my barista took my tip, I noticed that he had a tattoo bandage covering his arm, so I asked him about his tattoo. He promptly exposed his ink and showed me an awesome illustration of the Holy Trinity across his forearm. He was a Christian.
Okay, I thought. I’ll try again. So the kids and I headed to the carwash. I spotted a man brushing the sides of the cars with a large scrubber before they entered the hands-free car wash, and I prepared myself to talk to him about Jesus. After he finished scrubbing my car; I got my tip ready, handed it to him and just before I could form my first words, the man bowed his head and prayed right in front of me. He thanked God for the money, blessed it and anointed it for God’s service. He was a Christian.
As I drove home, I looked for one more opportunity to share Christ. I had two strikes against me, but I would not give up the fight. Just before I got back on the highway, I saw a fireman holding a boot and standing on the corner of the street. He was collecting money for charity, so I grabbed the last bill in my wallet and rolled down my window. I handed him the money and began my intro into faith, but he interrupted me by saying my name. I looked at fireman with surprise and took a better look at his face. I quickly realized that he and his wife attended my church and were members of my church home group. He was a Christian.
Once I got back onto the highway, I had to laugh. I asked God why He had creatively and sweetly sabotaged my street-witnessing venture. He simply said, “Because I haven’t called you to it.”
I realized several things from this experience. 1) Sometimes a good thing is not God’s thing. 2) You should never do anything motivated by guilt. 3) God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. 4) Raising kids is ministry. 5) Don’t compare yourself to others. 6) Unseen ministries are no less important. 7) God sees and blesses everything done in secret.
Although I still struggle with feeling unimportant and passed-over, I know that I’m right where God wants me to be. When I focus on how much pleasure God gains from my obedience, I’m overwhelmed by His love and peace. I trust that God has great plans for me, and I don’t need anyone to affirm my purpose because God’s Word and Promise validate my life.
Questions: Are you carrying guilt that you aren’t good enough? Is there a “good” thing in your life that might not be God’s thing for you? How can you find affirmation from God today that you are where He has called you to be?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29.11 NIV).
You can also read this article at Internet Cafe!