This post was written for the #FiveMinuteFriday prompt: News.
1 Corinthians 2: 3-5 (The Message)
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.
This is one of my favourite Scriptures. Why? Because I have experienced first-hand on numerous occasions how God has led me into situations in which I was “scared to death” to share His Good News – His Love – with others, and yet despite my buckling knees I found myself carried forward and despite my strongly beating heart, the words He gave me came pouring out.
As a teenager, I struggled to witness to others because I was not moving in God’s power. I had not yet really started embracing the Love He held out to me. And so, His actions of Love could also not flow out of me freely. Since then, He has been leading me on a journey of embracing His Love. And so, I have been growing in the boldness of my identity and calling in Christ, precisely stepping into my greatest fears, to heed His whispered encouragement to do and say what He leads me into.
So now, rather than struggling to find the actions and words to share the Good News, I hear Him speak and feel His Spirit quietly nudging me forward to:
- speak to a woman sitting beside the path I was running on. He tells me to stop and sit down beside her…I do and find a grieving heart, yearning for companionship far from home, having fled her war-torn country with her husband and children – a family He has given me the privilege of getting to know better this past year.
- speak to a dishevelled and obviously struggling man behind his walker. He tells me to stop and talk…I struggle and say goodbye, but He calls me back. He tells me to tell the man that He loves him, that God sees his pain and suffering and loves him so very much – tears stream down the man’s face. Weeks later I see him again, literally running behind his walker, a smile so big and a countenance so full of confidence: God’s Love!
- share the words He gifts me through my writing: publically, even though He knows I fear the criticism and rejection of others. I do so and watch Him embolden and grow me in the process, teaching me in the leaning that it isn’t me, but Him in me pouring out the words of Love. And so I watch myself grow into His boldness, peace and joy.
- pursue the repeated nudgings to publish a book that shares of His powerful, persistent, chasing Love, despite my numerous puddles of tears, increasing feelings of inadequacy and financial constraints. He teaches me to confess my weaknesses and lack of trust, and in so doing shows me just how much He loves me and how powerful He really is, placing His Body of talented, passionate and unique individuals around me to encourage me forward, equipping me with the artistic skills (for a beautiful cover and memes) and technical insight (for publishing and promoting) I do not have and the beautiful encouragement I sorely need.
And so, really the Good News is not even mine to give. All along it’s been and continues to be His: His actions and words of love pouring out of me. All I’ve done and continue to do is to lean into His embrace, into the whispers of loving encouragement that call me forward to live and move and have my being in Him. I pray that you too will (continue) to step forward in faith, hope and love, clothed in His incredible, life-giving Power.
Do you, like me, yearn to walk in the full power of His Love, to pour our His actions of Love into a hurting and yearning world? Then, maybe you’d like to join me in my voyage of discovering how to receive God’s Love, so that it may not only bless us, but those around us. This month I’m writing a series on receiving His Love: To Love is to Live in Christ and I’d love for you to join me and share how God is teaching you also to receive His great Love.