I’m reading “The Hole In Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns. And yesterday, I went to Chipotle for lunch and brought the book along. (Chipotle gives away free burritos on Halloween evening to anyone who comes dressed as their favorite Chipotle menu item. Ben and I had planned to wrap our arms in foil – instant burrito – and get dinner there. But the line was soooo long that he told me that he’d buy me Chipotle the next day if I agreed to get something different for dinner that night. Of course, I agreed. And this is why I was having lunch at Chipotle, without any kids, on a Sunday afternoon.)
Chapter 2 is about how the author shrunk away from God’s calling for several months before he realized what he had to do. As I was reading, I found myself judging Mr. Stearns, and yet wondering if I’d be willing to be used by God in a similar way – in a way that would cause us to have to move, earn less money and be faced daily with the overwhelming need in the world. Of course, my knee-jerk reaction was “Yes, I’d be willing to do ANYTHING if I thought it was what God wanted.”
And then, right there in the middle of Chipotle, I got the idea in my head that I should stand up, ask for everyone’s attention, and then tell them that God loves them.
Simple, right? No weeks of training. No offering to spend money to buy them all lunch. No need to risk getting close to contagious germs or violence. No need to even talk any further after that.
But, instead of finding eagerness or even willingness, I felt myself collapse on the inside. If I could have made myself invisible for a few minutes, I would have.
I found out yesterday that I am a coward.
And I started to cry. So I packed up my things and left the restaurant.
If I can’t do something as simple as that, what in the world can God trust me with? I dream all the time of God calling me into the field – working in an orphanage, bandaging wounds and playing with fatherless kids, feeding families and singing with widows, attending home churches in Iraq, Vietnam, South Africa, Peru and China. I have dreams of working in an aftercare facility in Thailand to nourish life back into men, women and children who have been recently rescued and released from oppression – to delight in seeing their faces when it hits home that they are indeed free at last. I have dreams of advocating on behalf of the marginalized, of rallying churches together to make life better for billions of people. So that they can be free to understand that God is GOOD and that HE LOVES THEM!
But if I can’t even stand up and tell 7 strangers that God loves them, when I was (possibly) prompted by God Himself… well, I fear that God won’t feel that He can trust me with the stuff of my dreams.
How pathetic. How horrifying. How terrifying that I would cringe before man, but NOT before God!
Lord, forgive me for my ignorance and my cowardice. Please help me to trust you, seek you, and do your will above all else, regardless. Help me be eager to serve you and share you. Straighten my shoulders. Lift my head. And give me boldness for you. Take my shame and replace it with courage and gratitude. Wash away my fear. Listen to the desire of my heart and use it for your glory. Show me any other areas where I am letting fear get in the way of my serving you and/or others.
Take my comfort and strip me of it, if it is getting between me and you.
Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.