Tuesday, August 9, 2011

AT THE READY FOR GOD

Eat what you want that night, and the next morning burn whatever is left. When you eat the meal, be dressed and ready to travel. Have your sandals on, carry your walking stick in your hand, and eat quickly. This is the Passover Festival in honor of me, your LORD. (Exodus 12:10-11, CEV)

This week our ministry has the distinct honor of once again collaborating with Christian Disciple Farm to lead a group of mothers who parent children and grandchildren with special needs during a family day camp.  Today's curriculum referenced the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover), and the day's theme was "Be Ready for God".  Remarkably, we explored themes on readiness, especially as it applies to our role in raising a child with unique abilities.

When we discussed the topic, the new pastor who joined us asked "What do you think God is getting you ready for?"  The conversation quickly focused on what mothers thought their individual purpose or mission is.  One mom felt the Lord was calling her to fight for her children.  Another mom sensed she was called to look beyond her child with special needs to the other typical children she is raising.  But one mom wisely asked, "How can we know for certain what God is getting us ready for?"

What a wise question indeed!  While we all agreed that hindsight is 20/20, I assured the women that our relational Father does definitely lay out for us His will in His word.  I likened it to an intimate conversation.  When we pray, God is listening to us.  When we read His word, we are listening to Him.  With that in mind, I explained to the women that no matter what the smaller battles at hand, the big picture is that God is daily preparing us to look more and more like His son, Jesus.  "And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit," 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) assures us.  That means with every situation, we are stretched and made more useful to others around us.  We carry the hope that only the gospel can give to those around us.

This caused another mother to share with the group Hebrew 11:1 (NIV), "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the certainty of things not seen."  This mom, who is going through multiple challenges right now talked about how this life in Christ is what allows her to keep her sense of humor in adversity.  And I confirmed to the ladies that it is this very thing that will make us stand out to others, causing them to wonder what allows you to have such a joy-filled demeanor in spite of your circumstances.  It doesn't even have to be in the special needs arena that God uses us.  Anywhere there is a hurting heart, a difficult battle, we should be ready to be sent by our King as an ambassador of hope.

What about you?  Do you find yourself ready, willing and able, like the Israelites before they were lead out of Egypt?  When God says "Go!" will you do so obediently with a sense of the greater purpose?  My hope is that the life experience you have been prepared with will not go to waste, but will be a beacon creating joyful anticipation in all who witness it.

Pray:  Lord, I don't even know what you may want me to be ready for, but I am yours.  You know what to prepare me for.  Help me to keep my eyes and ears open to all the things you are trying to teach me.

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