The church we attend is a small-ish size church, humble with a couple hundred members who meet together week after week. One of the things that comes with going to a smaller church is that everyone ends up needing to pitch in, plug the holes to keep the church afloat…
Whether those holes look appealing or not.
That has been something that’s cropped up recently for me: opportunities to serve in areas that I typically wouldn’t volunteer for, areas that I don’t particularly feel gifted in, areas that I feel inadequate to undertake.
And yet, we can’t always let those things stop us from serving.
To be sure, there will be times when we shouldn’t serve, when our schedules are already stress-inducing and we’ve already stripped them bare of all the extras. Or when we’re already serving our hearts out and need to let others pick up the slack. Or when the Holy Spirit impresses upon us ever so clearly that this is not the place for us.
But what about other times? When we could, but we don’t really want to? When we could, but we don’t really feel up to the task? When we could, but it’s just inconvenient?
I struggle with this myself, guarding my time and commitments so that I’m not stretched thin and can give fully to those causes that the Lord has already put in my path.
Recently, I was asked to step up and and serve in our church in a couple of areas that I didn't feel like I was "ready" for. Honestly, I felt inadequate for the position. It can be so easy to hear about a need in the church and say, “I don’t feel called to do that. I’m not gifted in that way.” And then walk away from the things that need to be done.
And yet, I know that God does not always ask us to do that which we find fulfilling or satisfying, because the floors still need to be scrubbed and the trash taken out and who really feels “called” to do those things? I know that God often asks us to step out in faith, to those places that feel uncomfortable, that stretch us, that humble us, that make us rely on him.
I wanted to say no and leave those tasks to someone else and avoid taking the risk that I might fail at them.
Instead, I said yes.
I said yes because my church needed me. Because the church saw beyond my shortcomings and encouraged me not to let my fears hold me back. Because even if I don't yet feel it in my heart, doesn't mean it's not from Him. Because sometimes we have a hard time recognizing His gifts until they are in hindsight.
In these instances, I did not feel pressured to take up the tasks. I did not feel like the Holy Spirit was telling me no—which I have experienced in the past and consequently turned down volunteer opportunities that were presented to me. Instead, I felt like this truly was an opportunity to step up to the plate and out in faith and let God take care of all the gaps that I saw that stood in the way.
And are you surprised to learn that I was not disappointed?
One of those serving needs was to teach a couple of women’s Sunday School classes, where I am barely older than most of the women (and much younger in a few cases!). I've taught one class and will be teaching another this Sunday. After that first class, I walked away amazed at how God made that little hour so fruitful. I had been afraid it wouldn’t be deep enough or challenging enough or any other string of “enoughs.”
Instead, I was humbled at how the conversations had been encouraging and engaging, at how God took my reluctant willingness and brought such beauty from it, which I never would have expected if I hadn’t trusted him with the opportunity and followed along far enough to see for myself.
Carmen writes the blog, Life Blessons, which provides an intimate look into her life as a twentysomething woman as she details her experiences learning how to live out her faith, enjoy the simple things in life and be the woman God created to her to be. Along the way, she shares the blessings and lessons that are a part of this journey, the things she likes to call her "blessons."
Feel free to read more at her blog, Life Blessons.
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