Monthly Archives: August 2015

Come out from hiding


“And the Lord said, ‘Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage.’”
I Samuel 10:22b

I had an assignment I wasn’t prepared for. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, if I stay as still and quiet as can be behind the tall kid in front of me, and don’t say a peep when my name is called, she won’t notice I’m here.
The bell rang signaling the start of my literature class and roll was being called. I decided to carry out my plan. Jennifer Eastham… Jennifer Eastham… *crickets*…

It worked. She moved on to the next name and I stayed slunk down in my chair, trying my best not to make eye contact with anyone.

How in the world I got away with that, I will never know. I have three thoughts though – maybe I was that overlooked and unnoticed that this teacher seriously didn’t know who I was (complete possibility), or God just had complete mercy on this unprepared senior, or maybe Ms. Riffe had some compassion, realizing that if I was willing to do something so silly as to skip class while actually being there, there must be a good reason.

The answer will remain a mystery.

Sometimes hiding seems like an attractive plan, but it is just a temporary non-solution that delays the very thing we need to face.
In Scripture, Saul, the first king of Israel, had a similar experience, only he didn’t quite get away with it.

Saul sometimes gets a bad rap, because we know how badly things ended for him. But remember that in the beginning of his story, he was chosen. And not just chosen, chosen by God. The Israelites wanted a king like all the other nations, and God gave them what they asked for.

God told the prophet Samuel that Saul from the tribe of Benjamin was the one he had chosen and gave Samuel specific instructions for Saul.

Saul’s father had sent him on a mission to look for some lost donkeys, and all in God’s timing, he went to see Samuel for help in finding them.

While Samuel was visited by Saul, he anointed Saul’s head, and then told him that he will be the leader of God’s people. He gave him some specific instructions, and told him things God was going to do for and through him.

Then it was announced to all of Israel that God was choosing a king for his people. The people gathered together to find out who would lead them. As it was narrowed down to a particular tribe, then to a particular clan, and finally a particular person, that guy was nowhere to be found.

They asked the Lord where he was, and God pointed him out.

“And the Lord said, ‘Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage.’” I Samuel 10:22b

Saul was hiding.

But unlike Ms. Riffe, God pointed out where Saul was. He had called him to a position and expected him to get the job done. This wasn’t the time to cower behind some luggage.

Was Saul feeling inadequate for the task? Did he feel too much pressure? Was the job too big?

I don’t know what was going through his head, but I know those are the sorts of thoughts I have when faced with a job I don’t feel equipped to get started. And it is tempting to hide behind some metaphorical luggage – avoiding that phone call, dodging that person, ‘forgetting’ to make that appointment.

Know that if God is calling you to do a job, he will give you what you need to get it done.

No matter how big the assignment, or how small you feel, God is big and God is faithful. He can get it done, we just have to get on board.

If there is something you know God is calling you to do – an assignment with your name written all over it – go to Him. Pray for courage and pray for wisdom. Offer a prayer of thanks for Him trusting you with such an awesome responsibility, allowing you to be part of His work.

If you would like to leave a comment letting me know what I can pray about, please do. I would love to lift you up in prayer.

Father, thank You for trusting us with the assignments You have given us. Forgive us for the times we question and doubt. We know that You can work through us to complete your purpose. Give us the courage we need. Amen.
“…for it is God who works in you and to act according to his good purpose.”

Philippians 2:13

Slowing Down the Rush


“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into
practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (NIV) Matthew 7:24

Trams and subways make me nervous. The door shuts itself and you are in or out. No changing your mind. I prefer having a human who doesn’t want to squish me controlling the door.
Even escalators give me mental anguish. So much pressure to decide on that first step, strategically making sure your foot placement is flat on the step, not on the crack (Picture Will Farrell in Elf – minus the green tights, that could be me).

Timing is everything.

There are days when I am praying for God to show me someone to help, someone to show his love to during the next 24 hours, and then I get right back to doing the next thing on my schedule and I go to bed surprised that I wanted so badly to help someone, but God didn’t show me.

I was thinking there would be this one, divine opportunity that was going to be blatantly obvious and I would jump right on that kindness tram and get it done. It just never seemed the right time to jump on.

The timing was off.

I think maybe God just wants me to walk.

Rather than trying to hurry to get to the next thing, and waiting for a huge sign from him, I think He might just want me to take a walk and look around. I know there are people hurting in my life. They could use something from me. There are people who are discouraged, and a kind text or even a card in the mail could make a difference for a few minutes. Maybe a kind word to a stranger in a grocery line.

But I have to slow down.

I need to take a few minutes and listen to the woman at my church telling me about her grandson’s struggle, without trying to wrap that conversation up in case I need to be doing something else. She needs to know that I care and that her feelings are valid. I do, and they are.

I need to focus on the middle school girl as she shows me yet another anime drawing she did on the weekend. She matters. She needs to know it.

I do think there are often times God will point us in the direction of someone who could be blessed by us, and tell us specifically what we need to do for them.

But there are also opportunities we have been given instructions for long ago. Our Bible is full of ways to to help.

Have you ever told your child something like, “You haven’t brushed your teeth? I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you to do that. You know you are supposed to be doing that daily.”

God must feel that way with me sometimes. “You haven’t helped the poor? I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you to do that. You know you are supposed to be doing that daily.”

And He’s right. He has already told each of us to help the poor (Matt. 5:42), to help orphans and widows (James 1:27), to encourage those who need it(1 Thes. 5:11), to care for those who are sick, in prison, hungry, thirsty, or who need clothes and shelter (Matthew 25:31-40).

If we slow down the rush, and keep our eyes open, we can see needs everywhere, and we can do our part.

So join me today. Instead of rushing through our days, waiting for that one, “Do this right now!” opportunity, look around. See the people, see the need, and be available. God can bless our small acts way more than we can imagine.