****All purple text are direct quotes from Lysa****
Chapter 18 A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept
I'd like to start this week again with a quote. "He isn't looking for people to dance in the limelight. He is looking for those souls who are willing to press close to His heart and hear the cries of the forgotten." And I'll add "Ministry that makes the biggest impact is that which is done in the secret places, the hard stuff that is void of glory, but full of guts."
When I first started doing children's ministry I really did not think of myself as making great impact. After all, I was "just" teaching the bible to elementary kids in Kindergarten or first grade. Other than the hugs and smiles of those precious children and an occasional parent, it really was a glory-less ministry. It was something God called me to do. It was something my heart felt was needed.
I did not do it for glory. I still don't do it for my own glory, but for God's glory. And let me tell you it takes guts to keep the attention of 2nd graders, who I now each, on a Sunday morning in a large room they'd rather be running around in! So I agree wholeheartedly with Lysa. There is nothing like seeing the girls I had in small group almost 6 years ago, become God-fearing, God-loving pre-teens. It makes me want to cry every time I see them in church because I know that God was intimately involved in the time we invested all those years ago. I'll take this kind of ministry any day!
Lysa tells the story in this chapter of another young boy God placed on her heart, Sergei. Lysa and her husband decided to adopt Sergei. At the time the book was published, the adoption was still not final. God used this little boy and Lysa's desire to adopt him, along with the her two sons from Liberia to resurrect something in Lysa. What you ask? "..a deeper and more secure trust of Him if you will let Him."
Even when the resurrection is not exactly like we imagined, we must still trust Him. Even if the resurrection of a desired circumstance doesn't happen, we must still trust Him. Perhaps the resurrection is going to look completely different than what we imagined. Whatever and however, our job and mission is to trust the One who is in control.
Chapter 19 God Brings Dreams To Life
Lysa speaks about the promised land here. She relates that she had an amazing revelation. It was not the speaking to 100,000 women or having lots of books at a book table or having people eager to meet her that was fabulous. Even though that's what she wanted, it turned out to not be the sundae with whipped cream and cherry on top. Oh no! Lysa said "The joy of the journey is not simply reaching the promised land. The real joy was experiencing God throughout all the phases of faith." WOW!
So the dream that was being pursued was not really the prize. God was the prize. Ladies, I can't imagine anything better. Just imagine...and I am sure you are experiencing some of this if you've been doing this study....yes, imagine with me.
Reading God's Word daily. Praying over what you have read. Petitioning God for understanding. Praising God for who He is and what He has done. Believing He will do great things in your life and the lives of others. Answering His call to go on a journey with Him. Being excited about the journey. Realizing, with anguish, that the journey travels through a parching, uncomfortable desert. Aching during those desert times. Crying out to God for His presence in that desert.
Feeling that cool breeze as the Living Water washes your soul with His grace and love and goodness. Following the Truth out of the darkness of famine, glancing upward at the peak of a glorious mountaintop. Traveling with your Divine Guide to the top of that mountaintop. Catching your breath as you finally see the view. How beautiful. Looking up at the Lover of your soul and realizing that if you were on that mountaintop without Him, the view wouldn't even really be one. Realizing that the glow of His closeness during that journey is what makes the view so completely glorious and wonderful.
That is the prize ladies. That is the prize.
Join us next week as we bring this wonderful study to a close with the final chapter. Stop by Lelia's blog for more comments and insights. Lelia also has more information on our next study, which I hope you will consider joining. It starts September 23. The book is "Behind Those Eyes" by Lisa Whittle.