I've been doing an online Bible study attached to the book Anything by Jennie Allen. The study is at the Good Morning Girls site
It's been one of those books that alternatively convicts me and makes me angry. Part of me will wrestle with this idea of feeling guilty for just living my life - someone has to clean the toilet! - and another part of me resonates with Jennie Allen's premise that our lives should be radical, that this life is a just a short time to live wholehearted for Jesus.
In recent months, I was part of the God-sized Dream Team. I watched women step into their callings - some tentatively, some boldly. I saw God work in mighty ways when women trusted Him with everything, willing to do anything. God has convicted me in recent weeks about my lack of obedience to His call in my life - lack that is evidenced in dragging feet and halfhearted effort. Everywhere I've gone, I've heard the message - delayed obedience is still disobedience.
I have had plenty of excuses - work, busyness, kids' issues, the list goes on. But the bottom line is that I know and I haven't done it. I've prayed what do you want me to do, and I just get the answer, "I've already told you." It seems frustratingly incomplete, so I've held fast to my justifications, my comforts, my fears.
So, last week, I took a big gulp and decided to pray the anything prayer - I'll do anything that you want Lord - anything I have is Yours. I laid it all on the alter - everything. Because either I believe God is really God and that He is good and faithful and I can trust Him with it all.
Or I don't.
Trust, faith - where the rubber hits the road is holding it all with an open hand. Without conditions. Without that little bit held back whether it is your kids or your marriage or something more mundane like your stuff.
So, the same morning, my neighbor calls me. I hesitated to pick it up because, well, I'm selfish with my time, my emotional energy. God nudged me - You said anything which means, inconvenience.
I picked up the phone. My neighbor chatted for a few minutes and then asked me where it said you had to be saved in the Bible. Yes - she called me and asked me to give her the plan of salvation. I almost laughed because sharing Christ doesn't get much easier does it?
Then I went into work where someone I knew came in - she'd never come to that branch since I started working there. She asked me about the discipleship class I had gone through at church and if I'd be willing to share the information and maybe disciple her.
The same day I prayed that prayer.
I was sort of flying high. These seemed like such God affirmations of my prayer of anything.
Then, that evening, my son came out of the bathroom and I spotted it. A red dot on his shoulder. I pulled him aside and looked at it more closely. It was small, cherry red and raised from the skin. It looked like a mole that was ready to pop.
I asked him a few questions about it, and sent him on his way. Inside, my stomach tied itself in a knot. With auburn hair, green eyes, fair skin, freckles, and my share of burns in my younger years, I am fairly familiar with the topic of skin cancer. It's something I keep on top of for myself because of my increased risk. I thought my kids got a free pass because they don't burn - they tan. It's something I've always been thankful for because spending a day on the beach for me is something of an ordeal if I don't want to come home looking like a steamed lobster.
Immediately, I began to pray. I wasn't very happy with God to be honestThis was the same kid who had struggled in the fall; the same kid who had just been to a pediatric cardiologist to test for a genetic heart disorder. Now I had to worry he might have skin cancer? Hadn't he been through enough already? Hadn't I, for that matter?
God whispered in my ear, "Anything."
Anything includes your kids and bad things like cancer happening. Anything means this life is not as important as the one to come. I didn't want to take back my prayer I had just prayed, so I told God that I was willing to go through anything - as long as He came too because He knew what an incredible wimp I am. I prayed that whatever happened, God would get the glory, that I would be able to see something good come out of this if my worst fears were realized.
So, I called the doctor. And I called. And I called. Finally, they got back to me with an appointment the same day - that would be today. I drove over, chatting with my son, trying to act like it was no big deal. Inside, I felt like I was going to throw up. I had seen the spot - it was bigger than just a few days ago and it had been bleeding too.
We waited in the waiting room, chuckling at the Dora the Explorer cartoon that was on - once my son's favorite but long outgrown. We were ushered into a small exam room, and we waited some more. I had asked for prayer from an online group of women and peace and calm were with me, even as I braced myself for the worst and prayed for the right words to reassure my son when they told us he had a cancerous mole.
The doctor came in - a woman in the practice I hadn't met yet. She asked several questions, pulled up my son's sleeve. She peered at the spot intently, then looked up at me.
"That's not a mole," she said.
I sort of gaped at her and asked her what in the world it was then. She brought back a book and they took a picture of it for posterity, I guess. It was some kind of granuloma - annoying but completely harmless. He'll have to have it removed because they bleed easily, but he was fine. No harm, no foul.
To say I felt limp with relief is an understatement. We laughed about it, my son and I. I drove him to the gym, came home and promptly burst into tears of profound relief and gratitude.
The thing is though, if it actually HAD been something bad, God would have still been good and He would have still been faithful.
I can pray anything because my God is trustworthy no matter what happens in this life. How has God shown you He is faithful and trustworthy even during the midst of hard things?
~ Blessings, Bronte