People, if I could write a book about the last month, I would. But, I have four kids…..I HAVE FOUR KIDS.
Things have been crazy and awesome.
Zac and I took a position as youth directors at a local church. I could go on and on about my thoughts on that, but I’m gonna do you a favor and just sum it up in one sentence: God takes the unqualified and uses them to do amazing things for his kingdom.
Why he does it this way, I don’t know. But, if you thumb through scripture that’s a trend you can’t miss. He likes using the ones that “on paper” don’t seem right for the job. He likes to take the shepherd boy and turn him into a king. It’s one of coolest things about God.
I’ll just say that Zac and I feel a bit like shepherd kids…
But, it’s positioned us to be COMPLETELY and UTTERLY dependent on HIM. And, I can’t think of a better place to be.
I’ve slowly outgrown the mindset that things in God’s kingdom have to look like the things of the world.
And, if it’s truly HIS kingdom, they never will.
But, enough about that 🙂
In a nutshell, November was a crazy month that led into a very busy December. And, during one very busy afternoon (like seriously RUNNING from one thing to the next trying to keep my children fed, alive and somewhat nice to eachother while I juggled the gazzillion things on my plate). I found myself driving in my van with about 15 min of peace.
(The kids were eating hamburgers – don’t even get me started – it was a BUSY day and although I’ve sworn off fast food, that day it was the ONLY thing available. They were thrilled. I felt like I was feeding them poison. We need therapy.)
ANYWAY, I was in my van, fries were flying everywhere and I was taking a deep breath of solace, treasuring the silence thanks to McDonald’s.
My phone rang.
Not gonna lie, I almost didn’t pick it up.
But, something in me knew I needed to take the call.
It was a good friend, spilling out her frustration with her knee. She has two young babies and is a working momma. She blubbered about how she couldn’t go anywhere without having her husband help her walk. She was pretty sure she was going to need surgery.
She was SO. FRUSTRATED.
I noticed that my kids were about done eating…I only had a few minutes of peace left….but the Holy Spirit grabbed my attention.
Again, he reminded me of Todd White.
How I’m supposed to be a Christian – you know the kind that “stomps out hell everywhere I go” (one of the many awesome quotes from Todd White)
This situation with her knee didn’t look like heaven. In her words, it felt a LOT like hell.
So, I did what my Bible says.
I told her we were going to pray.
She was like, “okay…” (thankful I’m sure, but probably not expecting anything to happen)
Over the phone, I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to correct her knee.
It wasn’t a long prayer. Pretty straightforward actually.
She thanked me.
I said, “well, how does it feel?”
She stumbled over her words and said, “ummm…well, I don’t know, I’m driving”
I asked if she could stop and see how it felt.
NOW, in this moment I didn’t really want to be praying. I wanted to be sitting in silence while my kids ate. BUT, this life I live isn’t mine. And when you have the power of the Holy Spirit bottled up inside of you, it isn’t just for you…MAN. That’ll preach.
So, she said it felt a little better, but still hurt.
The Holy Spirit told me to pray again.
A second and third time.
To which, after praying the third time, she told me she could stand and said, “Oh my gosh, it’s better! I can walk without it being wobbly like it was before!”
All of this took about 15 min.
While driving in my van.
FULL of kids.
I think what stood out to me that day, was this praying-for-people-being-a-Christian-in-real-time-thing, doesn’t have to look like I thought. It doesn’t have to be in church. It doesn’t have to be in the “perfect environment” where people are all emotional and feeling “led by the spirit”. THANK YOU JESUS.
Jesus wants to love people.
ANYWHERE. ANYTIME. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.
And, love doesn’t just mean smiling and holding the door for someone.
We have to be willing to step out on a limb and WALK LIKE HIM.
Praying, healing, casting out demons. That’s what he did. And you know what? People were changed. LIVES WERE FOREVER CHANGED.
Because it ALL came down to one word: love.
I have to be willing to walk in love. And love gets dirty. It gets messy. But, you know what? It gets results.
That day, I put myself aside and let Jesus love my friend through me. And, the cool part is that the story doesn’t end there.
Ever since that day, she has been praying for people’s knees. Co-workers, friends, family – you name it. That girl is a praying machine gun right now. It’s CRAZY. It’s a lot like Jesus.
And it all started on one very busy day, in my very busy life, with four very busy kids.
In Jesus’ words:
“Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment…” Matt 10:7-10 (MSG)
That’s some powerful stuff.
So, after this encounter with my friend I go to my youth group (who I’m now in charge of. Holy cow. And I just have to say they are the coolest kids EVER) And we’re focusing on the power of prayer and I share this story. Completely FULL of faith and expectation, I began to pray over the kids in our youth who were sick.
Pretty sure, some of them thought I was crazy.
But, it’s what the Bible says, so that’s what we do.
We’re Christians people!
(That is actually what I said to them)
One kid’s cold instantly went away.
But….another one didn’t.
That bothered me.
Have I wrecked their faith because they didn’t see the prayer answered? Would he have been better off had I not prayed at all? At least he wouldn’t have been set up for disappointment?!?
These are the thoughts that bombarded me.
My battle (most everyone’s) is ALWAYS in my head. And, I promised when I started this blog that I’d be honest with you. So, here ya go. I’m leading these kids – I want to live this thing out in front of them. I want them to see the power of following Jesus. I want them to know HE IS REAL and not just some religion to be followed. I want them to experience knowing Him the way I have…
And, yet, in that moment all I wanted was to run back inside my prayer closet (that no one knows about) grab a bag of chocolate and bury my head inside my Bible and keep this thing to myself.
THAT WOULD BE WAY EASIER.
God and I talked at length about that. And, you know what he said?
He summed it up for me in one perfect question (he ALWAYS tends to answer me with questions):
Anna, do you know why I healed people everywhere I went?
I was moved by love.
And….I got it.
I can’t be motivated by trying to convince them that God is real.
I can’t be motivated by trying to convince them of anything.
I can ONLY be motivated by love.
I must be so full of His love that IT moves me to pray.
I’m not a pro at this yet.
But the cry of my heart has changed. Because LOVE is what this entire thing is about.
One by one, we CAN let the Holy Spirit move through us. Sometimes we will see the miracle. Sometimes we won’t. But, all I know is to keep my eyes on him and run after the motive of his heart.
You don’t have to feel qualified. You don’t have to have a billion Bible verses memorized. The only thing you need is HIM.
We’re all in this thing together. So, write, post, email me. I want to hear from you 🙂