Four days from now, I, along with my daughters and a true friend, will drive a car loaded down with blankets, hats, and scarves—
For eleven hours
To stay with people we’ve never met or seen in person
To deliver the items we, and many generous others made
To homeless neighbors we know nothing about.
We’ll do radio and newspaper interviews—we’re nervous about that.
We made/collected enough goods to make 104 gift bags, each containing a hand-made hat, scarf, and blanket—$3,500 worth of materials. There’s so much we can’t fit it all into our vehicle; there’s so much we get to donate to two homeless ministries instead of just one.
This morning I get to meet with the director of a local crisis pregnancy center that not only provides services and support to women with unplanned pregnancies, but to struggling families of young children as well. I’ll tell her what we’re all about, show her what we make, elaborate on how we’d like to help, give her our plan to make a difference in the lives of people in our own community.
Before we even officially started that project (yesterday), we had already been given $1,050 through a grant and one generous benefactor.
Why I am telling you this?
Not to make myself look good—I’m nobody.
I’m telling you this stuff because six months ago I was restless, anxious, searching for a chance to do more, to get out of my comfort zone. I was praying for God to give me work to do—not church work, not work I’m used to, but work I’ve never done before, work that’s selfless, work that can’t be repaid by anyone, work that shows Jesus to people who’ve never seen Him.
And He did—
Through an idea He gave one of my daughters
An idea to make hats and scarves and blankets for people in need.
And now, just five months later, I’m way out of my comfort zone doing things I never, ever would have thought possible—because of the limits I put on myself, because of my personality, because of my fear.
I’ve never been crafty; I’ve never liked working with my hands.
I don’t like meeting new people. I’m not outgoing. It makes me uncomfortable.
I don’t like conversation—I can write so much more clearly than I can speak.
But here I am doing all those things I thought I’d never do.
I knit—well, with a loom anyway.
I’m driving to far-away places to meet AND stay with people I don’t know.
I’m getting opportunities to talk to people about who we are and what we do and how we want to help.
I’m fundraising and organizing and labeling and inventorying and packaging and supplying.
I get to give to people who can never pay me back, and maybe, hopefully, when I’m giving it I’ll have the chance to tell them about God.
And it’s all because of Jesus.
I can’t do any of this stuff by myself. It scares me to death but I’m doing it anyway.
Because when you pray and ask God to guide your steps, you have to move your feet.
When you tell God you want to work, you have to do what He gives you—even if it’s stuff you don’t think you can do.
Actually, that’s one way to know it’s really Him—He’ll give you stuff you think you can’t do, stuff you won’t be able to do unless you’re fully relying on Him.
But He’ll provide. He’ll give you every single tool you need for the work you’ll need to do on yourself and for others.
I don’t know where this thing is going. I don’t know how long it will last or how many projects He’ll give us. But I do know that as long as we’re willing and obedient, He’ll keep showing us where to go and what to do.
Are you tired of the same old, same old? Do you want more? Be encouraged today. Ask God to give you an opportunity. Open your eyes and your heart. Don’t discount anything as too hard or too small or too far-fetched. He will give you what you ask for. And when He does, don’t be afraid to do it. Rely on Him. He’ll show you what to do.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure everything out on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)