WOW! Have you ever found yourself speechless or been so excited that you can’t find that perfect word to express how you feel? Have you ever wished there was one word that would encapsulate all the words together that just aren’t enough by themselves?
Well, I needed a way to express how I feel today as I celebrate the launch of this new site, so I created a word. It’s right up there with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious but without Mary Poppins dancing and singing across the page.
It’s ABSOUNBEAWESANAMAZABLE! Did you figure it out? I know! Isn’t it great! All those words wrapped into one. Well, today I’m celebrating with my new word, friends and family and now you’re here. That makes it a perfect day.
You know, God called all of us here today to share this moment. We each had a choice as to what to do with the next five minutes; like laundry or shopping. God chose us, whispered in our ear and invited us to come. He asked us to share just a smidgen of our day with Him; to share the birth of something extraordinary.
It’s not that my blog is better than anyone else’s. It’s just that something amazing always happens when we do what God asks us to do; especially when we are called to Believe Outside the Box, which I did and here we are.
I don’t know about you, but I admit I don’t always respond right away when God calls me to do something. I procrastinate, like I did when it came time to publish my book; Secrets and Holy Whispers. It took years to finish it and then it sat. I revised, reread and rethought each page of it till my brain was mush and then God said, “Enough!“
I made excuses each time I came within inches of publishing it because I doubted myself. I knew God led me to write it but I questioned if God really knew what he was doing when he whispered “Now go. It’s time to give it to the world”.
Who would read it? Who did I think I was?These were the first questions that I asked in near defiance. I argued with God, which you should never do, reminding him that I was not a famous writer, a Pastor’s wife nor did I have a degree in Theology. I asked him who would want to listen to anything I had to say. I’m nobody. In fact, those were the same questions I asked God when he called me to write this blog. I’m sixty-eight years old and a far cry from being techy, but here I am.
One afternoon, while in the throngs of questioning God, He gently reminded me that He uses simple, ordinary people all the time to do the most amazing things. In the movie, Son of God, there is a scene where Jesus asks Peter to follow him. Jesus was essentially asking him to Believe outside the box that defined Peter as a simple, ordinary fisherman. He wasn’t a High Priest or Rabbi. He was basically a man with a boat, working the family business, had little or no formal education and smelled like fish, but Jesus chose him anyway.
I love the way the writers of the film depict the moment when Jesus asks Peter to leave his boat and follow Him. Simon asked where they would go and what they would do. In the scene, Jesus looks out over the water and responds, “We’re going to change the world.” and that’s exactly what they did. Peter’s simple, mustard seed size, faith outside the box that defined him, changed the world.
Nothing is impossible or stops God when He has a plan and needs you. Don’t bother trying to ignore Him, procrastinate or argue that you’re not good enough because He’ll just keep nudging and insisting that you are.
You’ll find Him sending messages on billboards, in music, sermons, through people or even in blogs until He gets your attention. He might even go so far as to talk to you through a burning bush or sit in your boat while you’re out fishing.
God reminded me that He called on a 75 year old shepherd, named Abraham, to be the father of nations and called on an outcast shepherd named Moses to confront a Pharaoh, part the Red Sea and shepherd God’s Chosen People to the Promised Land.
An ordinary farmer, named Noah, was called to be a carpenter and an ark was built. God asked a simple peasant girl, named Mary, to bring the Savior into the world and he gave courage to a young boy named David, to fight a giant and because he believed outside the box that defined him as a shepherd, God made him a King.
You might say that these are just stories out of the Bible. What about now? In more recent years a young woman, named Agnus Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1910. God whispered in her heart, told her to give up the life she knew to serve the poorest of the poor in a place called India. Her seed of faith pulled her outside her box, where she inspired millions and changed the heart of the world. We know her better as Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
Around the same time a young boy, born in 1918 to a dairy farmer in North Carolina, heard God’s call, went to college and then to preach in a pulpit. God asked him to do more, to go further, to spread God’s message of redemption, healing and love to people all over the world. He too believed that God was bigger than any box the world tried to put him in. One man’s mustard seed grew a Ministry that changed the world. His name was William Franklin Graham.
Everyone; past, present and future, including you and I, has a box. Each box is created by the what, when, where, who and whys of us but it’s what we carry inside the box that makes us believe that we can’t when God says we can.
The inside of the box is where we hide the junk. That’s where we bury all the torn, worn, shamed, shattered and shredded parts of us. Those are the parts of us that we hide from the world; the parts that try to keep us from becoming the person God calls us to be.
The inside is where voices wrap themselves around our brains as tight as an undersized girdle. They’re echoes of words spoken to us in our past that tell us we’re not good enough, smart enough, worthy enough. They whisper memories of broken hearts and broken dreams. They scream guilty reminders of past mistakes and past sins and label us as insufficient, unwanted and unloved.
Which voice will you listen to; the one inside your head or the voice of God outside the box?
God says you can in Phillippians 4:13 when the world says you can’t.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
God says you are loved in Isaiah 43:4 when the past says you’re not.
“You are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you.”
God says you have been chosen in Isaiah 43:10 when the world casts you out.
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen that you may know me and understand that I am he.”
God says you are not alone in Matthew 28:20 when you are lost and the world despises, ignores and threatens you.
“I am with you always, even unto the end of time.”
God is greater than any circumstance, any giant, illness, secret or sin. Do not let the world or your box define you. Be redefined by what God says. When He talks to you; whether it’s through scripture, in prayer, through people, songs, billboards, books, burning bushes or blogs…listen.
When God calls you to step outside of the world, circumstances and past that attempsts to define you…find the mustard seed, plant it outside the box and watch it grow. You can do it, be it, say it, Believe It.
This is God’s blog. He’s just using me to print words upon a page, but the message comes from Him. He already chose who this blog is written for. Apparently it’s you. I hope you find this box of words encouraging but mostly I pray that you will find God’s breath and whisper between the lines.
So every Wednesday, grab a cup of your favorite Jo or tea, come spend five minutes with me and together we’ll discover God’s whisper for the day. I pray it makes us better people, makes a difference in both our lives or, better yet, that we might find the courage to Believe what’s outside the box enough to change the world and that would be ABSOUNBEAWESANAMAZABLE!
From my heart to yours, Victoria.