"If all you ever attempt is that which you know you can do, or have the resources for how will you ever discover what He can do?"
My Jesus is ... Everything!
by Anne Graham Lotz
Talk about culture shock! When my family and I arrived on the mountain in Garrett County Maryland, I felt God certainly had made a mistake! How could a family from Northern Virginia, where there were millions of people, cars and houses, possibly minister to this laid back community 3,000 feet above sea level? Even though I was praying that God wasn't really calling us to this ministry, I knew the minute we pulled onto the church parking lot that this was going to be our new home.
The next 5 1/2 years are history but the ministry proved to be many things for our family. For me it was a time of incredible spiritual growth and a great lesson that God can use anyone to do anything if we simply are obedient and willing to obey His call on our lives. Jeremiah 29:11, says it all, I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
God has an awesome plan for each of us but so many times we hinder that work. We tend to look at things through our eyes and become discouraged because we only see the possible. Things that seem impossible to us create fear in our lives and many of us will never accept the challenge God has strategically placed before us because it involves risk. When God planted the burden for youth ministry in my heart shortly after we had accepted the pastorate in Oakland, Maryland, I was totally bewildered and scared to death! How could a former bank executive from Corporate America pastor a group of screaming teens who possessed roller coater emotions and raging hormones? I knew absolutely NOTHING about pastoring young people and had absolutely no experience in ministry. I had overwhelming emotions of insecurities and intimidation. I was afraid to accept the risk that God placed before me. But as I began to seek God's face for guidance and direction He began to saturate my heart with excitement, new ideas and peace.
God equips the called. When He nudges our heart and whispers that it is time for us to step out and do something for the Kingdom, He gives us everything we need to accomplish the task. Those early years of ministry were some of the most precious years of life. Our son Brandon and daughter Brooke were a very active part of the youth group. There were times when Brandon stretched his mom more than you can imagine. Yes, those years were challenging and I became weary, worn and discouraged at times but God was awesome!
The youth group, Holy Fire, became the heartbeat of our church and was very active throughout the community. I have many fond memories of those years. Several of the young men (including our son) are now ministers. To think that maybe I played a very small part in encouraging them to take a risk for Christ excites me even today. What if I would have ignored God's calling? What if I had refused to take that risk?
God made what seemed like the impossible come to life. He wants to do that with all of us. Pray with expectancy about what God has for your life. I truly believe that God's desire is to do great things in each of us. People need to know who Jesus Christ is and we have a responsibility to tell them. I encourage you - be willing to take a risk and watch God do the rest. When things look like they are absolutely impossible look up and hold on for the ride of your life. We truly miss so many blessings because we are looking at things through our eyes and not His. Don't restrict Him. Put God first in all things. Seek Him and allow this to be an awesome year for you and your ministry.