It’s been a while since I’ve posted—I’ve been enjoying a break from scheduled writing and posting (though I’ve still been doing some of that over at karatmag.com). Today I’m taking a “break from my break” to share a couple things that have been wrecking my life (in the best way), and I hope they encourage you! Here's what I’ve been learning.
When God speaks to us, it isn’t always because He wants us to do something.
At the beginning of the year, I spent time praying about when, where, and if I should travel. I felt the Lord was saying this would be a year that I’d get to share a country I loved (Cambodia) with others.
I was thrilled at the prospect. Sharing Cambodia is one of my favorite things—I wish everyone in the world could visit at least once! Quite quickly, I created a long list of possible travel buddies in my head.
Then life sped up. I agreed to various commitments and shouldered new responsibilities. Days sped by, then weeks and months, and suddenly I was committed to going to Cambodia on a medical mission trip—without having “recruited” a single person. I was disappointed.
Yet a couple weeks later, one person wanted to come—and then another, and another, and another. Suddenly, a group of people I knew (and some I didn’t even know!) were eager to travel to Cambodia.
It was then I remembered the other thing God had spoken to me at the beginning of the year:
You don’t have to do a thing.
I hadn’t connected these two phrases previously, but I was blown away when I did. I realized the Lord wasn’t kidding around when He said in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
For some reason, I’d started to believe the main reason God spoke to us was because He wanted us to obey Him. When I think of the Bible, I think of instructions and commands—often within the church it’s called the “instruction manual for life.”
Yet when I really examine the Scriptures, I find much more than instructions. I find stories, poetry, and promises—all pointing to connection. Connection with the One who created us. In fact, the majority of what I read in the Bible guides us to walk with God, not work for God.
For the first time, it dawned on me that perhaps Jesus placed that sense in my heart—the sense that this would be a year when I’d share Cambodia with others—not to instruct me but to give me something to delight in. As a friend shares exciting news with confidante, the Lord had whispered this news to me. Simply because we are friends. Simply to share His joy.
To be a servant of the Lord—this would be enough. Yet He invites us into friendship, too!
As I write, I cannot think of anything sweeter. Sometimes when He speaks, He does call us to action for and with Him. Sometimes, it’s simply for the pleasure of our company in the knowledge of His will.
That is a most beautiful thing.