Do you feel like throwing in the towel?
Do you trust His sovereignty?
Why do I wrestle with this question when God never fails to show up? I wonder if this speaks to you. Do you wrestle? Do you try in your own strength to make things happen? Do you try to build with your own hands and assume God will bless it? Are you running on empty because you have given it all, yet it doesn't seem you are one step closer to where you hoped you would be?
A few weeks ago, I wanted to say "I'm throwing in the towel. I'm not cut out for this!" My heart desire is to share the message God has put on my heart with women that were like me lost both in the world and on the pew. I want to lead the hurting woman to the Healer, because I know the depth of that hurt. I want to lead the lonely to the Lover, because I have known unbearable loneliness. I want to show those empty the way to the Provider, because I know what it feels like to be empty. Most of our passions are birthed from our pain, but this desire is not a little nudging or a passing thought, but rather a burning passion that consumes me at times. There was a time when you could speak your message if it was your gifting or you had a message powerful enough to be heard. However, the social media vortex that we have created has changed how we do everything, and it certainly has effected ministry. In some ways, it has connected us allowing us to share the Gospel to anyone anywhere at anytime which is good news. However, It has also taken over our lives and led us to redefine who should have a voice. It seems to matter more today about a "following" or "platform" than purity of heart or a gifting or a message. It's not enough that you plug in to all of the forms of media, but you are expected to tweet certain times of day and Instagram others. You need to post on facebook so many times a day at certain times a day mixing up content of words and images. Then add Google plus and Linkedin and all the others to the mix. Then you ask all the questions like is the content relevant? Is it valuable? Who is your audience? How does anyone have a life beyond it, I have no idea.
I sat at my table with the Word and a cup of coffee and a weary heart, "I'm not sure I'm cut out for this. There is no way I can meet all of these expectations. Can you even do this with a pure heart? Father, if you want me here then you are going to have to show me. I am trusting in your sovereignty." I sort of checked out from everything, and still have:) I felt very led to share a story about a young man who had died and visited his mom in a dream to tell her there's no football in heaven. Her story touched me so that I just knew I had to share it, but I wasn't sure how. Then within a week our whole state is praying for a high school football player that is in critical condition after a Friday night game. When I heard the news that he didn't make it, it grieved my heart and prompted me to share this woman's story. Within a few minutes, I received my first "hate mail." My skin must get thicker this I have learned. Honestly ,I wanted to delete the whole blog immediately. He totally misunderstood my heart, and I questioned what I wrote, but the Holy Spirit said to stand on what I had written. So I stood in hiding, I suppose:)
I didn't look at my computer for a few days and I certainly didn't blog. Then I was eating dinner with some youth when a man came up to me to thank me for my message about football. I was taken back that he had even read it. I even said, "You read There's No Football in Heaven?" When he replied, "Rochelle, I think everyone has. I have seen it myself posted by about fifty different people." Then one of the youth at the table chimes in, "Our teacher read it to the whole class, so I got home and read it to my mom. I think it went viral." I was a little in shock to be honest, because I don't expect my home town people to read what I write, even Jesus didn't perform miracles in His hometown, right?
When we got home, I put the kids to bed and I went to my computer to see if I could see how many people read the message. I am not all that in to analytics, so I was fishing around and then I saw a number that caused me to literally fall out of my chair. Am I seeing this right? 88,000! Now to put this in perspective, I asked my husband, Todd, how many people he thought read that blog? He responds, "I don't know baby, but I'll guess 200." I guess you can imagine that he was surprised that he missed it by a few thousand. And the next day, it was over 100,000 views. One blog gets more views than three months of messages in less than a week of me saying show me that your hand is upon me and this is you God.
I share this with you today, because I just believe in my heart that there are so many of us needing God to show up, yet we have left no room amidst our own efforts. There is no space for Him to Move because our calendar is completely overbooked. Where would we fit Him in? We are too tired to hear Him from chasing our too booked calendars. I feel some are even loosing hope, and He is teaching me now the power of HOPE!
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13
Hope is tucked right there between faith and love. Have I overlooked the power of HOPE? We know the power of faith and love, but have we missed the power of HOPE?
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
We overcome by the power of a testimony, so I give this testimony that He showed me His sovereignty through one simple moment of being obedient to the Holy Spirit in hopes that it moves you to trust His sovereignty. He moved more in a day than I did in six months. I pray that my story renews HOPE, because as we know hope deferred makes a heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. I know there are some of us that feel an aching in our hearts that we can't name, and I believe it is an absence of HOPE. We have traded in the dreams He has placed in our hearts and settled for life as it is making excuses like "this is just how it is when we are in this season," yet it follows us into the next one.
Be filled with HOPE today that you serve a good and gracious, sovereign God that can change your whole life with one phone call, or one idea, or one divine appointment.
I so love these words....
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!
My prayer for you today is this....
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13