July 4, 2008

Even When it Hurts

Leslie Nease

 

 

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Leslie Nease.

 

 

Today’s Truth

Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

 

Friend to Friend

My heart ached as I drove away - for the last time - from the local Christian radio station where I had served for over four years. I felt as if a knife was going into my chest. I sobbed and whispered, “God, I know I’m being obedient! Why can’t you at least take away this pain?”

 

I once heard someone say that if you feel overwhelmed with all you have to do, you are doing something that God has not asked you to do. He never gives us more than we can handle. My life was out of control and I knew it.

 

I was a wife and mother of four great kids, a full-time radio host, a speaker, a writer, a fitness fanatic and an assortment of many other responsibilities. At the end of the day, I’d collapse into bed. I knew I was doing too much, but I just couldn’t imagine letting any of it go! I remember thinking that if God wanted me to let go of something, He would either take away my ability to serve Him in that area, making His own plan clear to me or He would take away my passion for that plan.

 

But nothing was happening. Until about three weeks ago.

 

I was in Delaware speaking for a Ladies’ Retreat. I felt as if God’s hands were completely covering me, shielding me, giving me power and passion that I’d never experienced before. When the retreat was over, I remember feeling His protective hands hovering over me in power and then moving underneath me, catching me as I collapsed into the sweetest rest I have ever felt. My mentor of six years was with me and she felt it, too. I knew God was calling me to a new place of service. I prayed with my husband and we agreed that I was to move into a full time speaking and writing ministry.

 

Then the doubts came. What if I fail? What if I quit my radio job and then nobody knows who I am? Who am I if I’m not on the radio? That last question made me realize another reason God was calling me away from the radio station. I was beginning to find my identity in my position at the radio station – and He wants me to find my identity only in Him. It was quite humbling.

 

As hard as this decision was, I knew exactly what God was asking me to do. I gave up the comfort of a job I love, a guaranteed paycheck and the exposure of a radio host position in a large radio market and I’m now walking completely in faith that I am in God’s will for my life. I have peace I’ve never had before.

 

Funny thing is, I don’t know what God has planned. He may never choose to make me a well-known speaker or a published writer. He may choose to show me that I am just fine right where I am. None of that matters. I only care that I’m being obedient to the One who called me! Success according to the world would have made me feel I had to stay right where I was but God’s success looked much different.

 

Is God calling you to make a difficult decision in order to be obedient to Him? Our job on earth is not to seek success in the world’s eyes, but in His. I prayed that God would ease the pain of leaving the job I loved so dearly but He chose to leave it. As I drove away, I heard His sweet voice of comfort as he whispered to my heart, “The greater the sacrifice, the greater the blessing.”

 

Now that’s success.

 

Let’s Pray

Sweet Father, I pray that You will give me the discernment to hear Your voice in my life. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, please make clear to me what I need to sacrifice in order to be in Your perfect will. Thank You for Your hands of protection that cover me when I’m ministering and catch me when I’m spent. I pray You will be honored in my life as I seek to take up my cross daily and follow You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

Now it’s your turn

  • Is God asking you to let go of something? Do you trust Him to provide for you?
  • Before making a big decision in your life, make sure your husband or spiritual covering agrees. God gives us spiritual covering for this purpose – to help us stay on track.
  • As you go about your busy day, remember that God never gives you more than you can handle. When we crowd our lives with “stuff” that is not from Him (although it may seem good at the time) we inadvertently push His hands away. Trust His leading and experience the freedom of walking in His will.

 

More from the girls

Faith is a costly choice. When we choose to obey God, we are sometimes stepping into thin air…with seemingly no net! Nothing could be further from the truth. When we walk by faith and not by sight, we are walking on solid ground and in the strength and power of God. For help in the area of faith, get Mary’s CD, Stepping Out in Faith and be sure to check out her free online bible study, Light for the Journey.

 

 

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