In the past 2 weeks the subjects of life and death have been on my mind quite a bit. Two weeks ago I had some pains in my chest that scared me enough I went to the ER and had it checked out. All tests came back normal. Then last Saturday, a friend got up, and was getting ready for her day, when God called her home. It was a total shock to all who knew and loved her. Both of these events have had me reflecting on many things about life. What am I doing with my time here? Am I making the most of it? Am I taking advantage of the time I have with my family and friends? Am I following the dreams and plans God has set out for me? Most importantly, Am I making a difference for Jesus?
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (NIV)
God has a plan set for each one of us before we are ever born. Yes, I know we have a free will, and sometimes we don’t make choices in line with what God ultimately wants for our lives. But God does have a plan, and He knows what we CAN do with our lives and what we WILL do with our lives. Until we reach our eternal destination, we still have that free will to make changes, and follow the path God has planned for us. Granted, the impact we make for Jesus, and the joy we get from serving Him will probably be less than it would, had we followed Him all along, but the point is…Don’t waste one more minute of your life!!!
There are many reasons why we are not on the path God has chosen for us. Sometimes we are even following God, knowing that we have a particular desire and burden on our heart (calling you might say), but it doesn’t feel like anything is coming of it. My advice is keep following Him. There is a very good chance God is preparing you for something.
Indulge me, if you will, for just a minute as I try to briefly share with you about my friend Paula Hayes. Paula is the one I spoke of at the beginning who met Jesus face to face last Saturday morning. When Paula was 9 years old, she knew God was calling her to special service for Him. It was not until 2007 that she saw that dream/calling come to life. That was when Paula, along with others, founded Orphan Outreach. Orphan Outreach, according to their website, is a “non-profit organization dedicated to glorifying the Lord through reaching out to the millions of at risk children throughout the world.” (http://www.orphanoutreach.co/index.asp) I believe that in those years between her calling and the reality of Orphan Outreach, God was preparing Paula for this special service. In those years, Paula became a wife, mother, teacher, leader, administrator and so many other things that prepared her for her service with Orphans. Paula took several trips to serve these orphans, provide them with needed shoes or clothing, or to bring supplies to the orphanages themselves to help provide for the children. I remember her always looking forward to these trips with anticipation, knowing that what she and the group she was taking were making a difference in the lives of these children. I could go on and on about Paula and her love of God, her family and her service to the orphans around the world. But my point is not to fill the web with Paula’s story. It is to encourage you to seek God for YOUR calling and KNOW that you too, just like Paula, CAN make a difference, if you follow HIM!
Living in Grace,
Please take a look at the Orphan Outreach website to learn more about their service and Paula Hayes. There is a great article on the homepage in her memory.
Also a great reference for the journey of reaching the calling God has for you, is the book What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerkHurst. Available at Proverbs31 Bookstore or your local Christian bookstore.