The Best…

I mentioned last week I’m working on a new website. I hope to launch it in the near future, and I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready.

My goal is to have a page on the website where I can share my story and travels through photos, so the project this afternoon has been looking through photos from various trips I’ve done over the last several years. As I looked at photos from Afghanistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, China, Jordan, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, the UK, Ireland, and more, I realized just how much God has allowed me to see and do in the last thirty-six years.

Yes, there are things I haven’t gotten to do, promises made that weren’t kept, disappointments in abundance at times. During this past week, I have learned that without God’s intervention, another disappointment (with the potential to alter my future in major ways) may be waiting just around the corner.

Even still, God has been faithful. I have lived a pretty remarkable life so far, and I get the feeling it is still just getting to the good part. The best is yet to come!

I don’t know what story you have lived so far. I would imagine there have been some difficult chapters and some good ones too. Maybe you’ve seen the world, or maybe you’ve seen just around your own neighborhood. Perhaps you’re living your dream, or maybe you’re currently living a nightmare. Whatever your story is right now, I believe the best is still yet to come.

The God we serve is full of so much more than we can imagine, and He longs for us to open ourselves to receive more of Him all the time. He is faithful to show up in the midst of our stories and bring His best to us if we will allow Him, and His supply is limitless. No matter how many good gifts He has already poured into your life, there are always more available.

I don’t know what will happen in my life during the next few months. I don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. None of us know how the current events in our lives will turn out, but that’s okay. As we put our trust in God and allow Him to work in and through us, the best is always ahead of us! Let’s run into the days ahead with our eyes fixed on Him and our faith firmly rooted in His goodness.

What’s in your hand?

This past Saturday evening, I got to spend time with a group of ladies who came together to worship Jesus and encourage one another. We heard stories of God’s leading and provision, sang a couple of songs, prayed for each other, and listened to a word that one of the ladies shared.

She told pieces of stories about several people in the Bible who were faithful with the seemingly insignificant things they had available, and they saw God work miracles in their lives as a result. She was sharing with us that while others may seem to have so much to offer compared to our meager offerings, we all have something to contribute, and God can do amazing things when we offer whatever we have to give. (See the stories of Moses, a widow on the verge of losing everything, and David for more details.)

The speaker shared about how easy it is to look at the people who are doing the visible, up front ministry tasks (like leading worship or speaking) and think that the ability to encourage or be a friend to someone seems pretty small in comparison with the impact those more “visible” people can make. But as she was talking, it was hitting me that those in the more visible roles of ministry often have the same feelings of insignificance.

I have had people say to me how great it is that I can play the guitar and sing and lead in worship. Some have said they wish they could write or teach or even just hear from God like I do. I sat there on Saturday night feeling like a couple of the women there were thinking I would likely gain nothing from the speaker’s encouragement because they see me as offering the more significant – or at least more visible – gifts to God and His Body.

The truth is, though, that I needed that encouragement to offer what’s in my hand. I was scheduled to lead worship at church the next morning, and I was feeling completely inadequate to the task in that moment. I’m grateful for the gifts of teaching, singing and writing that God has given me, and yet far too often, I see them as almost useless to God. I wonder how many people really read my words or whether the music and teaching really touch anyone. How could these things that might as well be a stick, a tiny measure of oil, or a few stones and a sling ever be enough to deliver a nation, save a family, or bring down a giant?

Of course, the answer is that in our own strength, they can’t be enough to make much of a difference. When offered to God, though, they can make all the difference in the world! As we allow Him to empower us to use the things He has placed in our hands, the world can change in ways we have not dared to dream!

What’s in your hand today that God might want to use for His glory?