This week our church held a “Reaching and Welcoming” meeting for our members. It was a big think-tank to talk about how to reach more people in our communities with the Gospel and welcome them into our church. We sat in circles with our “Small Groups” (groups that meet weekly in homes to disciple and encourage one another) and let me tell you, there were so many good ideas!!
I was excited and encouraged…until I left the meeting. Then I started feel overwhelmed at the thought of all the people in our community (and WORLD!) that don’t know Jesus. I want to shout off the roof tops what Christ has done, that He loves each person and offers forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, eternal life, FULL, abundant life that starts NOW, that He gives freedom to those battling addiction, hope for marriages, wisdom in parenting. At the meeting we talked about how to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people around us. And I want to do All. The. Things. I want to help every hurting person find joy and hope, feed every hungry person, encourage every overwhelmed mom, cheer on every struggling child, remind each teenage girl that she is beautiful, just as she is and tell each teenage boy masculinity and gentleness can go hand in hand. And these are just the things I want to do in my own community.
I want to go to the uttermost parts of the world and reach people for Jesus. I want to stop human trafficking, save every abused and unwanted child and bring them into my home; I want to stop genocide. But I’m just one person, disabled by chronic pain at that, trying to support my pastor husband and raise my wild and amazing little boys. How do I know what to do and when to do it? I can’t do all the things. I can’t even do most of them. I know I can do some of them, but it just doesn’t seem like enough. My heart is overwhelmed, with such sadness and honestly a bit of panic (oh, hello again, anxiety).
I’m sure the answer is something like “Just do what you can and let God do the rest”, but I feel such a heavy responsibility to be God’s hands and feet, and I think that’s a good thing. I’m a follower of Jesus and I need to act like it. Jesus loved people and healed them and He was moved with compassion when He saw their brokenness. I feel like we are all so busy with our lives, taking care of our homes and children and making good plans for meals parties and vacations, and even which load of laundry to do next; and those are all good things! But there are starving people in the world and we have so much. There’s got to be a balance… I just don’t know what that is.
The sadness I’ve been feeling has been really hard on me this week, and my depression has been a bit (a ton, actually) worse than usual. I’m working through it, but man, it’s been really tough. The verse that I’ve been reminded of over and over again in my mind (I’m sure from the Holy Spirit) is
“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalms 61:2)
And as I’ve laid there crying, this has been my prayer.
I know this post should end with a neat and tidy answer to my conundrum, wrapped in a pretty bow, but that is just not the case. I’m still at a loss, but I’m choosing to trust this Bible verse in James.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
I don’t know the answer to what and when and where I’m supposed to do, but I’m trusting that the Lord does know, and He will lead me, and comfort my hurting heart as I seek His wisdom.