This is my cousin Lanea. And while I can never spell her name correctly on the first try, this beautiful name matches her beautiful nature. She is only 11 (a running joke. It's her excuse for everything), but this girl is filled to the brim with the spirit of God! She is one of my biggest encouragers; the wisdom she has is unreal. There is over ten years between us, but she's the one I hang out with at family gatherings. My partner-in-crime, she reminds me that climbing trees is fun, that trampolines should always be jumped on, and every cat deserves a cuddle.
So why am I introducing you to this great little lady in my life? Because she is fearless in the name of our Father.
Isaiah 6:8 says, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here I am. Send me!"
This is such a simple statement, one that I've spoken to God with complete honesty and truthfulness. But the minute I feel that God is sending me somewhere I don't want to go, I cower. My willing heart goes and hides in a corner. I wish I could be more specific, like "God, please send me somewhere with a solid political system, a mild (but not too cold) climate, where the population can speak English, and everything is air conditioned." Maybe I wasn't so willing after all.
When I told Lanea that I was going to Brazil with Action, she emailed me to let me know that, while she would miss me at gatherings and fish-fry's, I was doing something way more important! She immediately put aside her own feelings to support me. I think that's where I falter. I think of my own discomfort, my own fears. When God calls, when He asks who will go, I think we can all learn from my cousin; while we have insecurities, what we're doing is more important!
This applies to all of us, no matter what we're doing. If you're working at a camp this summer, a fishing lodge, a berry patch, or a gas station, there are going to be moments where you're unsure; your confidence might waiver. It's easy to give in to the pressures of the world around us. But God doesn't call us to an easy life; in fact, He says the opposite. John 16:33 says:
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
So I want to encourage you to be a light in your world this summer. God doesn't just send people to far away places; He may be calling you to make friends with a co-worker, or mow your grandparents lawn for them. There are so many ways to serve, so many ways for us to show God's light in everything we do. It may not always be comfortable, and it may not always be easy, but it is always worth it. God's love isn't complicated.
Take some time, maybe 10, 20 minutes, to listen to God. If you are willing, ask God what He wants from your summer. He will send you. Are you ready?
"The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone."
- John 1:4