“Jan. 21, 6 pm, my house. Tacos.”
This is what I texted a few twenty-something single ladies with the heartfelt hope at least one of them would actually show up.
After more than a year of feeling the Lord prod me to do more ministry for twenty-somethings and then proceeding to wonder if He was for-real serious, the day had finally come.
I told the few ladies I knew the date and time, and I told myself to leave the rest up to God.
Easier said than done. No bigger ball of nerves has existed than me on Jan. 21. Even after setting the date, I fretted if I should do this.
ACTUAL fears that plagued me:
- I have never led a small group without my husband.
- I am a *bit* older than twenty-anything.
- What if the ladies were only being polite when they said they were interested?
- What if they think I’m weird?
- What if they think I’m immensely uncool, despite my best attempts to make this clear upfront?
- Most importantly, why would they listen to ME?
Can you tell I was uncomfortable? Pushed beyond what I knew? Anxious? Have you ever been in that place with God?
I call this a Moses Monologue.
In Genesis 3, God tells Moses He wanted him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and the first step was to tell Pharaoh to let them leave. Scared out of his wits, Moses replies by giving God a list of reasons why he thinks Pharaoh would never listen to him, how the Israelites didn’t like him, how he has a speech impediment, why his brother Aaron should do it, etc.
A Moses Monologue.
Much like Moses, I responded to God’s prodding by telling Him all my shortcomings — as if He needed the reminder.
Also much like Moses, I found my servanthood by leaning into my fear.
God asks hard, uncomfortable, dangerous things of those who serve Him because it is His will that trumps, and His will does not exist to appease our own.
If we are always comfortable in service to God, then something is off. True service to God will always involve fear because the very nature of service means we are ignoring what makes us comfortable in favor of God’s desires.
This does not mean we lack confidence in God to provide and defend, however. It means fear is a necessary part of serving God.
Fear makes us humble, the only appropriate posture before His Throne.
Fear reminds us we are stepping out in His strength rather than our own. The shaky hands and somersaulting stomach are indicators of our fallibility, which, if we allow them to, will turn our faces toward Heaven and lift from us a pleading cry for the Spirit of God to sustain us.
When we are scared, we are ready to admit we are powerless without God. We are ready to ask God to fill in our weakness with His might.
I catch myself thinking of God’s omnipotence as something that controls the molecules of the visible world but not something that has authority over how I spend my days. I tend to think of His omnipotence as a Big Vague Thing and not as a Sharply Specific Daily Truth that will dare to impose with things like getting a group of young women together for tacos and Jesus talk.
On Jan. 21, despite my fear, I submitted to God’s will and prepared to open my home. I turned my fretful thoughts into faithful prayers, asking my Heavenly Father to align hearts, fill the room, be my words and lead the night.
By the end of our first meeting, it was clear to us all something beautiful had just begun.
It was amazing. Because God is amazing.
His plan is now my reality, because I didn’t let fear win.
Have you leaned into your fears to follow God? How did it turn out?
Following Him with joy,