Monday, May 25, 2009

OVERwhelmed.

"Remember me with favor, my God." 

I love Nehemiah. I've read it before but reading it over again this morning was totally different. Maybe it was the delicious coffee or the relaxing environment or maybe it was God speaking to me. 

Nehemiah did a crazy thing. He went to King Artaxerxes looking sad and when the king asked what was up, he said "May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?" Then he prayed to God and spoke to the king and asked to be sent to the city in Judah and rebuild it. The king said "Ya for sure!" and even supplied Nehemiah with safety during the trek and army officers and a cavalry. 

I love that Nehemiah didn't give up. He knew what he wanted, and he went for it. He sought the Lord and feared Him. He persevered. He was wise and listened to the Lord. He got the city rebuilt and then in chapter 9 the Levites say to the Israelites this beautiful beautiful speech about how the Lord provided for them, protected them, and remembered them even after the Israelites were arrogant, disobedient, insolent, idolatrous , blasphemous and every other awful thing you can think of. 
"In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly." vs. 33
At the end  of chapter 9 and beginning of chapter 10, they make a binding agreement, an oath, to "follow the Law of God given through Moses, servant of God, and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our Lord.....We will not neglect the house of our God." 

I love Nehemiah because it starts out with him being moved by the state of Jerusalem...so much so that he's visibly distressed and he's fasting and praying. He carefully and prayerfully tells the King of his distress and by his wisdom in approaching the King, is granted what he needs to carry out this vision. When faced with opposition many times, Nehemiah responds with confidence. He places guards and soldiers in places where the people working on the wall and reminds the Jew's that God's got them.. "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your people.." When another threat came- this time from within the people- Nehemiah says to them "What you are doing is not right. Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God and avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?" He shows integrity. In the third attack, Nehemiah vehemently refuses to play into the enemies attacks and goes to the Lord in prayer ".... but i prayed to the Lord, now strengthen my hands...". When the enemies saw the work that had been done on the wall in just 52 days Nehemiah says "When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God." 

All this to say.... I want to be like Nehemiah. I want to be a leader. A leader with integrity, with conviction, with perseverance. A leader who hears a call and listens to it. A leader who acts. A leader who prayerfully considers their options and seeks the Lord in every aspect. 

Insert segue here...

I had an interview for, and was hired by Youth for Christ/Youth Unlimited. I will be working this summer in Lakefield (a small town a 30 min bike ride from peterborough..I'm going to have great legs!) doing a variety of things. Included in the variety are: organizing and running Art in the Barn nights where youth come and we do artsy things together, organizing The Feast- a community meal that happens every wednesday, manning booths at local festivals getting the YFC/YU name 'out there', putting on movie nights in the park once a week in August, and the best part of it all--- hanging out and building relationships with awesome youth! I'm really excited for this opportunity and when the 2 guys interviewing me came back after saying "we'll let you know in a week" and changed it to "we don't need to wait a week, we want you", I was totally overwhelmed. 

The thought of the work, and prayer and growth involved with this position makes me shake with excitement. It also makes me tremble in fear. What if I can't connect with the kids? What if I make giant mistakes? What if I'm not good at it? What if I'm not an effective leader? What if I can't do it? 

And when I'm done with those thoughts- I grab them and make them obedient to Christ. I'll be able to connect with kids because I'm working for Christ, serving Him with my gifts, and will be blessed. I'll make giant mistakes but I'll make them, learn from them, and be a more effective leader because of it. I'll be good at it because I'm passionate about it, because I've sought the Lord about it and because I've been led to the position by Him. I can do it because it won't be ME whose doing it alone. It'll be me serving the Lord, Him working THROUGH me.

9 months ago you couldn't have paid me to do this. You couldn't have paid me to want to do this. I always said that least favorite age group was jr. high's. I'll be working with a ton of jr. high's this summer. 9 months ago God could have called me to it and I doubt I would have listened.

But 7 months ago God called me to The Bridge and I listened. Christ broke my heart for these kids in the exact same way He did when I was in Uganda. That whole time He was preparing me for this next step in my life. 7 months ago I was in control. I was dependent on myself. 7 months ago I had it all together. 7 months ago I was 110% sure that I was getting in and out of school the fastest way possible and would be writing my last exam on the way to the airport to hop a plane to Uganda. I'm out of control. I'm useless when I depend on myself. I have nothing together. But I'm glad, and I'm blessed. 

Because when I read Ephesians 2:10 i know that I am God's handiwork. Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which Christ prepared in advance for me to do. 

And that, my friends, is unbelievably exciting. 

2 comments:

Beautiful Mess said...

Extreme Makeover: Jesus Edition

Because I am leaving a comment on your page, that means I am a “follower” of your story I am not a random person just posting for posting sake.

I don’t know if this breaks blog etiquette or something. But I am risking it anyway.

I have posted a blog called “Extreme Makeover: Jesus Edition” about a family that needs our help.

Go, read, if you feel led.

Side note: for you adoption/foster advocates, there is another post that is “messing” with me if you care to check it out and comment. It is the previous post and it is called “Living Freely: Foster Care and THE CHURCH”

Hear my heart fellow bloggers, I am seeking nothing selfishly. Just trying to do the will of the ONE who sent me. Praise the Lord!

janet said...

this is good post and all sister bu you should really update your medical condition. also you just need to update. put up something interesting okay?