“When we think we are in control of the results, rather than called to be obedient as we release the results to God, we will experience guilt, tension, and discouragement”. – Dee Brestin, “Idol Lies”
My main spiritual gift is exhortation. I’m God’s little cheerleader – the friend that will come alongside you and encourage you to do whatever it is that you need to do, the one who always has the optimistic lookout, the one who will smile while she kicks you in the rear. I do that unofficially, I’m going to start doing that officially soon (finally found the right people to connect with at church… mentorship program here I come). I enjoy being who God made me.
But it is VERY easy for me to fall into thinking that I have some control over the outcome. I don’t! Even when I’m working with someone hand-in-hand for years at a go, I don’t have control. When I start believing that I control the results, and that the results have something to do with *me*… well, I get discouraged. (It’s always the reverse of your best gift that is your worst sin – I’ve swallowed despair’s lies a time or two, to my shame).
I’ve been in a period of mostly short-term missions, where I’ve been learning to open myself up to just bringing a little of God’s light where ever He points me. And thus He’s taught me to be an arrow. Fly swift, straight, obedient to His direction. Do what I’m supposed to do, say what I’m told to say, pray and love and embrace and encourage. God gave me the gift of love – I love easily and naturally. It makes exhortation easy – I love very nearly everyone, so naturally I want their best. It’s not like I can help it. :p
But love makes me protective. And I am not supposed to protect. I got hit with that 2×4 today while doing my study. I’ve been burdened with unforgiveness for someone who hurt someone I love for decades – I kept willing to forgive, doing the work, praying… and finally it broke today. I was using that unforgiveness, that old hurt, to hold “strong” so that I could protect. (Pretty sad source of strength, oh well).
But the Lord is her shield. Not me. The Lord is MY shield. And all my loved ones – if they belong to God, they’re shielded by Him. He never asked me to stand in His place – that’s His job. I need to let go. He is the avenger of blood, He is justice, He will protect. Not me. Never have I been asked to do these things – I wasn’t made for that.
To be who God called me to be, I need to be able to give my very best and then leave the results to Him. To open my hands and to trust in the God who loves more than I could ever imagine loving. I need to keep my eyes open to opportunities to do right – I’m being challenged to really step up in maturity – but I don’t have to carry the weight of the results. Not my burden. I’m just an arrow – I have to drop the burdens so that I can fly whereever the Lord chooses to send me.
So… time to fly!