Last year was such a confusing, difficult and painful year for so many as we were navigating the COVID crisis and a presidential election campaign season that had been, at the very least, dare I say, intense!
On November 1, 2020 I felt led by God to share with our church family a daily message from Psalms 91. We would cover a verse each day on FaceBook LIVE. LIVE? Yes, LIVE! I didn't want to do it! This was WAY out of my comfort zone because I am not a tech savvy person by any stretch of the imagination, but I knew that I was supposed to do this every day for sixteen days.
Ok...I could commit to this for 16 days - RIGHT? Yes, with God guiding me each and every day! I was to go LIVE at 7 am so that it could help people begin their day with some encouragement and focus on God’s presence and His plan for their protection throughout the day. This time was to include excerpts from the book that I was reading at the time “God’s Umbrella of Protection” by Peggy Joyce Ruth, and some excerpts from the Matthew Henry Commentary to bring some clarity in the context. I was also able to include some of my own insights or thoughts. I included an opportunity to take questions and prayer requests in the comment section of our church’s FaceBook page.
So I committed to getting up at 5 am every morning to prepare for what was to be shared. I was both humbled and amazed at how God met me faithfully each morning to give me specific direction on what to share. He even led me to create some PDF’s for each verse to make available to anyone who wanted them.
There were a couple of trips that I took out of town during that time and God did not let me off of the hook! I still had to meet with my church family every morning at 7, even when I was in a different time zone! It was really quite a challenge for me personally.
I once heard it said that, “Your faith can be measured by your next act of obedience.” I began to recognize that this whole thing that I was to do was a test from God for my obedience!
“Why me?” I asked God. I look back now and I believe that during that time, God wanted to comfort people who were scared, sick, concerned, confused, and grieving - and He wanted to use me to help them. He wanted them to know that He loves them and has provided protective promises specifically for them. How or why would I want to keep that message from getting out?
I tried to make excuses! But It didn’t matter to Him that I was uncomfortable with it, that I felt unqualified to do it, or that I was uncertain that I could do it for the length of time that he wanted me to, knowing the trips that I would be going on. I was self-conscious of what people would think of me. They might think that I think I know it all!
You see, I had a clear choice to make:
I had to STOP MAKING EXCUSES!
Uncomfortable: OBEY or DISOBEY
Either I was going to get out my own way to do what He wanted me to do OR I wasn’t.
Unqualified: TRUST or WITHHOLD
Either I was going to trust Him for what He wanted people to know each day OR I was going to withhold my willingness to believe Him and how He wanted to use me to reach people.
Uncertain: COMMIT or FAIL
Either I was going to commit to it with Him leading me OR I was going to fail this test AND only He knows how many people that He wanted to see and hear this message of His promise.
Self-Conscious: GOD PLEASER or MAN PLEASER
Either I was going to choose to answer God’s call to me and walk that out for Him OR I was going to be more concerned about what others think of me, allowing that to rob God, me, and those that I was to share a precious promise with.
Disobey God? Withhold from God? Fail God? Displease God?
These are not very good options. I stopped making excuses, surrendered my own insecurities and made my choice to please God!
Little did I know that people other than our church family would join on this LIVE stream from Florida, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and even Pakistan! It sparked great questions, conversations, prayer opportunities and built new relationships and rekindled some old ones!
One friend in particular, had started watching. She was someone whom I loved and respected but had not spent a lot of time with in our past. She was grieving the recent and unexpected loss of her husband and had reached out to me through private messages. This morning time that we were spending together had become a great source of comfort and encouragement to her! She was processing it for herself and by the end of the sixteen days God had her start sharing it with others who needed it! It helped to move her where God wanted her to be, and reassure her of His great love, care, and ongoing provision and protection for her! What a blessing to be able to pray with her and be used by God in her moment of need! He wanted to minister to her through me!
You know, God didn’t give up on me or let me give up on myself! I got to be part of something I never would have done without Him leading me! I couldn’t see what He was doing so obedience was my only option!
I DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT
...but I am so glad that I did!