Posted by: karanoel | June 6, 2011

Just do it

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it– he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25

Once again, I have a bite size amount of time and a plate full of stuff to say. But I tend to gorge myself on words, so maybe verbal snacking is a good thing.

While on the elliptical yesterday working off a more literal gorging, the following quote struck me from the sermon I was listening to: “God isn’t sending your provision to you. He’s sending it to where he told you to be.” He followed with the illustration of a quarterback throwing the football to where a receiver will be; when he will be in the best position possible to score.  What better focus and purpose can we have than locking eyes with God, knowing his intentions, doing whatever it takes to get where we need to be, opening up our hands to catch what he’s thrown, and running like mad to the end zone… dodging every freaking thing that would get in the way?!

It’s so easy to get stuck thinking we can’t move forward until we have the grace or resources in hand to do what God has called us to do. We want to be safe and sure before stepping out. The thing that often follows is accusation against God because he doesn’t seem to be providing for our needs. We get stuck and can’t seem to move. We don’t have grace for the people or situations in our lives. We don’t have the physical resources we need.  But what if all these things exist in abundance, just not in the place we’ve stubbornly or fearfully insisted on staying?

The Bible is full of stories declaring that it isn’t until we step out in obedience that we will receive what we need. It’s a hard word to hear and live, but it is the exact place where the love and power of God shatter the vision and perception of doubt, inability, and unbelief. I want so desperately to come into a deeper knowledge of this and see the fullness of his resurrection life released in me and through me.

My challenge to you (and me) today is to tune out the noise and distractions of life and mind, lock eyes with God, and ask him where he wants you to be. If you don’t have the courage to get there, ask for it. If there is something trying to knock you down, dodge it and press on. The body of Christ is your team (and you will not get there on your own), so use it. If there is something God has already asked you to do, stop asking for further instructions and, as Nike says, just do it.

I’ll leave you with a story from Corrie ten Boom that encapsulates this picture for me…

It was in a church in Munich that I saw him, a balding heavy-set man in a gray overcoat,
a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the
basement room where I had just spoken. It was 1947 and I had come from Holland
to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. …

And that’s when I saw him, working his way forward against the others. One
moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat; the next, a blue uniform and a
visored cap with its skull and crossbones. It came back with a rush: the huge
room with its harsh overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in
the center of the floor, the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see
my sister’s frail form ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment skin.
Betsie, how thin you were!

Betsie and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the Nazi
occupation of Holland; this man had been a guard at Ravensbruck concentration
camp where we were sent. …

“You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,” he was saying. “I was
a guard in there.” No, he did not remember me.

“I had to do it — I knew that. The message that
God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have
injured us.” “But since that time,” he went on, “I have
become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did
there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein, …”
his hand came out, … “will you forgive me?”

And I stood there — I whose sins had every day to be forgiven — and could not.
Betsie had died in that place — could he erase her slow terrible death simply
for the asking?

It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to
me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had
to do.

For I had to do it — I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior
condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. “If you do not
forgive men their trespasses,” Jesus says, “neither will your Father
in heaven forgive your trespasses.” …

And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness
is not an emotion — I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the
will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. “Jesus, help
me!” I prayed silently. “I can lift my hand, I can do that much. You
supply the feeling.”

And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to
me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my
shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this
healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

“I forgive you, brother!” I cried. “With all my heart!”

For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the
former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so
intensely as I did then.


Responses

  1. Hi Kara,
    Forgiveness has been thrust into my life lately. Mostly people I am close to who need to forgive parents or friends. I have recalled my father who was a horrible drunk who hurt my mother regularly. We left when I was 12 and I hadn’t seen him for 13 years. I became a Christian in those years and knew God wanted me to forgive my father with more than just lip service. He wanted me to go 2300 miles to see him and show him I loved him and show him his grandchildren.
    My heart thrived after that and I know my father thrived and blossomed into a gentle loving man after that also. My father is gone now and I am 60 years old. Bitterness is not part of my life.
    Jesus is the great healer of our hurt feelings and broken pasts. I will never regret doing what God asked me to do that day.
    I know your mom and love her so. I am growing to love you too. I hope we get to meet someday soon.

    • Patty, What a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption. It is such a clear picture to me about how excellent God’s way really is, and how we will get to see the goodness of his heart unfold as we step forward in faith to do what he’s asked us to do. Thank you so very much for sharing. I hope to meet someday soon too!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: