O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them. (Isaiah 25:1)
Relate: Moving to Binghamton the first time (nearly twenty years ago) was a bit of a big deal for me. It was some time this week, back in ’01 when I signed the lease on that first apartment. I was still committed to working in Webster as a youth pastor through the end of the month, but my mind and my heart were already gone. I was leaving behind a decent, safe job as a youth pastor in a nice neighborhood to go live in an unfamiliar city working with an unfamiliar demographic for no pay as Chi Alpha leader for a group that almost didn’t even exist anymore.
Technically, the group was still around and was being student-led, but the first night I showed up in the scheduled room, at the scheduled time to see what I had to work with. For an hour and a half I had the room alone. I was right about to leave when a girl popped her head in the room and said, “Oh, is this the right room? I thought there was a Chi Alpha meeting here tonight.” This was how an entirely new chapter of my life (looking back, one of my favorites) began.
React: When God is going to do something new in our life there are a million reasons why it can’t happen. There are a million excuses as to why it won’t work. For Israel, they already had a king. True, he wasn’t perfect, but he sure looked the part. He was a bit proud and self-centered, but he did seem to win most of his battles. That’s a good thing for a king, right? But God had long ago written David into His divine story and it was time for him to come on the scene.
For me, I had a good-paying job. I was part of a loving caring community that was forgiving of my right-out-of-college rookie mistakes. I was making a difference in the lives of those students in my group. We weren’t growing much larger but I was watching them grow deeper. Things were comfortable. Things were safe… Things were about to change.
I was going to place with no income… but God had His plans. I was going to a place with no security or safety net. I guess this was a practise run for the even crazier leap when I followed God’s calling to move to Turkey. In moving to Binghamton, I was going to a ministry that had no people… but God had His plans. He had a great new story for me already planned and plotted out and it was time for me to step out into something new. No excuses were necessary, only obedience would do.
I know I’ll never be good enough. I’ll never be talented enough. I’ll never be ready enough or holy enough or worthy enough for what You have called me to do. But You are. Give me the courage to dream bigger. Give me the audacity to step out further. Give me the boldness to speak a little louder. What You have planned for me is beyond my imagination… but it is part of Your plan. Help me to walk in it.