Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What If...

"For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." 
~ Philippians 2:13, NIV ~

"God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing."
~ Ephesians 2:10, MSG ~

"What if God is punishing me?"

"What if the bullying at school never stops?" 

"What if the doctors can't find out what's wrong?"

"What if my child never lives on his own?"

"What if the worst happens?"

We parents raising children with disabilities, chronic illnesses and special needs are all too frequent visitors to What-If Land. We can tie ourselves in knots with worry and actually allow debilitating anxiety to have full sway in us if we don't face our concerns God's way.

But what if we are asking the wrong questions? What if we asked a BETTER "What if..."?

Fourteen years ago I was looking for someone to serve me in my earliest days of raising a child with an out-of-control severe bleeding disorder. I wanted to lean heavily on another and gain biblical wisdom to steer my way through dealing with this incredible life challenge. I sought out another family in the hopes of finding that spiritual life-line.

Then God spoke...

My church embarked on a corporate study of the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, and Claude King. The premise of the book was that God is at work all around us. He invites us into an intimate relationship with Him and into the work He is already doing. We only need listen, watch, and join Him. I grew deeper during that time, my faith becoming action. As I moved through the study in a small group, God's voice came through loud and clear.

"YOU go do it! The Son of Man didn't come to be served, but to serve. YOU serve people raising children with special needs." 

I definitely had my Moses moments when I heard His voice. 

"Who am I? What do I know?"

My son was only 2 years old at the time. Yet, I will go to the grave saying that I was exactly who God wanted, so I wouldn't get in His way. I knew that it all had to be HIS doing because I didn't know anything. I had no resources, no influence, no training, and very little support. Dumb and obedient -- That's what He wanted, and that's what He got in me.

Here I am all these years later wondering if the parents I serve need to be having the same sort of encounter I did. Instead of questions wrought with worry and anxiety, questions need to be asked in prayer...

"What if God is calling ME?"

"What if God is putting His glory on display through my child and I've just been obstructing the view by not stepping out in faith?"

"What if our messy life is the perfect platform for Jesus to speak to a hurting world in practical ways?"

"What if God could use li'l ol' ME to be an ambassador of His hope to other parents who are hurting?" 

"What if He has a story to tell through our trials?"

Friends, God DID invite me into His work, but He didn't invite me in alone. He is inviting you too! It may not be in the same way or place that He has invited me, but He assures us in His word...

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20, NKJV)
But before people can pray to the Lord for help, they must believe in him. And before they can believe in the Lord, they must hear about him. And for anyone to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them. (Romans 10:14, ERV)

What if YOU are called? The fact is that YOU ARE. Now what will you do with that calling?

PRAY: Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord. Direct our vision away from wallowing in our own toxic worry and onto joining You in Your grand plan.

~ Barb Dittrich
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  1. I love this Barb & I am thankful for your life & testimony & obedience to HIS call.