Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Season of the Least

It's been longer than I like between posts.  I can't help it, life just happens.  Between a 10 week old's schedule, trying to exercise myself and my children, as well as homeschooling - not to mention trying to experience all Italy has to offer at night and on the weekends - I just haven't had it together lately.  I'm lucky I've still been (somewhat) keeping up with my Bible in a year reading.

Right now, I'm listening to Ella Grace scream her lungs out because she is fighting a much needed nap...

I'd really like to finish another book by the end of the year.  That was one of my goals.  I'm a little discouraged because I haven't heard from either publisher I presented my cancer devotional to over 6 months ago, and I don't see a mental plan forming to finish the chapter book - of which I've designed to be the first in a trilogy.  My life won't crumble if I don't finish another book this year, but I will be disappointed.  I will feel like I have accomplished nothing, or very little, towards my professional goals.  Never mind I'm not even halfway through my other devotional project on fear.

I will have missed the mark on my expectations.  But are those really GOD's expectations of me?

This question has haunted me lately.  I know He called and gifted me to write.  I know He has put words in my mouth, to encourage people to get to know Him, to depend on Him, to find their freedom in Him.  But in the middle of that, He has given me another person to care for.  He has given me a family ministry in a foreign country.  Our lives are so full right now - is it necessary to pile more on?

I read Judges 6 the other day.  Verse 14 stuck out:

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

He brought me here, no doubt.  He has many plans for me.  I don't have to do them all in my own strength, do I?  If I do, that kind of defeats the purpose of partnering with God.

The second part, verse 15, reveals the answer to my issue:
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

I am the least.  I am the least.  I am the least.  That's all Gideon says.  You want me to do this big thing, Lord, but I am the least.  I am the last.  I am the weakest. 

The Lord of Heaven sends me, it is He who will get the work accomplished.  So, in the meantime, I need to do what I can, when I can.  I need to embrace the least, not being the most.  If I write - awesome.  If I don't and have a wonderful day with my family - awesome.  The only one here with injured expectations is me.  God doesn't judge me by the amount of words I write, or the amount of pageviews, or the comments I receive.  Indeed, He doesn't judge me at all.

This season could be one the one in which me being the least ambitious benefits us all the most. 

He sent me.  He will fill in the gaps. 

If you are, like me, struggling trying to manage what you expect of yourself - start asking how far you can go in your strength and allow the Lord to fill in your gaps.  Maybe He is calling you to do the least so He can do more than you can ask for or imagine.  He has great plans for you, but in the meantime, what is required could just be being present in your life.  It may not be the time to focus on getting the most out of your calling or gifts.

Join me in putting our expectations on the shelf for the time being.  Go forward in your own strength, knowing when the time is right, the Lord is with you.  He is the One sending you and He is in charge of the outcome.

1 comment:

Gindi said...

So I loved this. And your voice. And your heart. This Gideon reference made me think of Priscilla Shirer's post on Ann Voskamp's blog about Gideon, I'm going to have to study that more. Love you.