Jesus told stories. That’s how he connected with people.
Hebrews 11 shows us how we are all linked together by faith (see left pic below). Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses… me, you, your brother, your next door neighbor- every single one of us. God has given us each a story and each one of them is original.
One of my goals coming into G42 was to figure out how to use my story and my gifts in an even more effective way. The mentors are here to be our vehicle to figuring this out. Dave gave us a great example from the war… whether during WWII or the Iraq war, all information was/is spread through connections with people and stories (pic on the right).
So this first month and a half we have been pushed to focus on where to go next with our stories? our visions? our callings?
I am a kid at heart and I have learned that is why I love kids. I desire to make an impact on a generation of voiceless kids- to help reveal their unique identities in Christ through laughter, creativity and love. In more simpler terms I want to be able to show a kid how to just be a kid. I want to help prevent future brokenness and pain now while they are still young. What does this look like? I envision a building. a safe haven. programs of art, dance, exercise and music to name a few. My heart is not to open an orphanage or be a “babysitter” or a “mom”, but more of “the cool aunt”. To work alongside an organization that is also already fulfilling the kidos needs for food and shelter. A place of rest and safety for kids to be able to just be themselves. No adult responsibilities. To just have fun and teach them who they are in God! And I know one day this dream will become a reality.
Now, do I know all the details to this vision? nope. Do I know how God is going to play this out? nope. Do I feel adequate for this? absolutely not! Well, neither did Jeremiah…
[ Jeremiah 1: 4- 13 ]
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
When Jeremiah wrote this, he was roughly only a teenager in his early teens. I highly doubt he felt qualified or equipped. God chose Him to be sent out in His name. So what is stopping us- fear? pride? money? During Jeremiah’s time Jerusalem was in the midst of a bad economy and also a season of winter.
God asks Jeremiah…
The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
In the midst of a physical and realistic winter, the young boy sees beauty. He was able to find an almond tree. Picture looking out at a frozen lake, where there are no animals to be found, dead trees everywhere, a cold wind and foggy skies. and you spot far far away this:
color in the midst of gloom. hope in the midst of hopelessness.
springtime during the dead cold of winter.
The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north,” I answered…
God is saying that it is easier for Him to change a nation (to redeem people) than it is for one of us to tip over an already tipping pot… hmmm. doesn’t even seem possible! God’s word is more powerful than our realities. and because Jeremiah saw correctly, he saw life amongst death- God used him for big things!!
“…the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
God is a God of harvest. of plenty. We are not to deny the winter -the hardships, the poverty, the loneliness, the pain- but we are called to see the beauty in it all. To believe in ourselves that if God is telling us to do something then we sure can complete the task.
I want to help change the world and the world cannot be changed through silence. God saw the world was going to be touched by a teenager. Lets change the way we see things. Lets go and expand the story God has given us. There is nothing to be afraid of.
Keep your eye on the almond branch.