Not long ago I started volunteering on Friday nights at our church. I was not sure what would be involved. I was not sure why I needed to do it, but God was pulling me into it. So I decided instead of ignoring the call from Him like I had been doing so often, I would go. I would volunteer. I would serve. I would see what He had waiting for me.
As I have gone week after week I am getting to know the young adults who show up. I am learning about them, their lives, their history, and families. I am getting to know new adults at our church (not new to the church, new to me). I am stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing something I didn’t know I needed.
My younger kiddos are going with me on Fridays now and helping in the little kids area. They are seeing what I am doing, they want to help and volunteer as well. They are little Jesus’ with skin on. He came here to teach and serve. He was teaching and serving, He was a child, He was love from the time He was born. My children are seeing me, learning from me and now these little ones are turning into little adults who are giving their time, their love, they are serving.
Last week I was not able to go. I had a prior commitment and I thought it may be a nice little break. I missed them all. I was at the banquet with Jack and sat there praying for the people who I was not with. I was praying for the adults. I was praying for the kids. Not what I expected to be doing on my nice little break.
We are told to use our gifts. We are told to give to others. We are told to serve others. We are instructed to love others. We are supposed to do to others what we would like done to us.
I have been picking and choosing what I would do when He called me. I would put things off, until I was hit in the head with it. Even then I would attempt to put it off a little longer, depending upon what it was. He would be calling me to serve in some way, He would be calling me to give in some way and I would run for my life.
I may never knew what blessing He has in store for me if I live in fear and run away. I may miss teaching my children a lesson and allowing them be a blessing. I may miss teaching others a lesson and allowing them to be a blessing. I may miss teaching myself a lesson and allowing myself to be a blessing. Tonight when I walked into the room I was blessed. Tonight when I played a game with everyone I was blessed. Tonight when I put the music on and sang I was blessed. Tonight when I listened to the poems, the basketball, the chatter, the joy I was so blessed.
I never really thought of me giving to others as a blessing for me. It is a great thought and a great feeling. It has filled me with something I have not felt in a long time. It has filled me up. I leave there on a high from being with everyone, from giving what I can.
I used to volunteer because I was asked and I just said yes. I didn’t feel called to it. I didn’t really want to do it. I could not wait for my time to come and go. I dreaded the week I was volunteering and I kept on saying yes each time I was asked. I wasn’t praying about any of it, I was just saying yes because I knew you were supposed to give your time.
Funny, as I sit here a thought just came over me. My whole life I have a thought or a want and I have just jumped in. No prayer, no is this from God or from me, I would just jump in. Nothing and I mean nothing went how I wanted it to, how I thought it should go and the end results was always the same: misery, unhappy, failure and dread. All of my past choices have influenced my lack of listening to God. Here I am, praying, knowing, hearing Him and I run the other way instead of jump in. I have been so scared of my old self and the results I used to get when I did it my way, when I did it myself, and never went to Him. If He is love, if He is calling me to something, if I am praying on it and know it is of Him it isn’t going to have the same results as my past. It is going to shine Him. It is going to show the world what He can do. It is going to be successful, happiness, blessed and learning.
I do not have a clue how long I am going to be called to be in this position. It could be a month, it could be a year, it could be a decade. No matter what amount of time it is, I am going to soak it in and enjoy it. I am going to enjoy the blessing He is giving to me from my giving. I am going to love watching my children doing the same thing. I am always excited to see my children give to others, that is a blessing to me. It never even crossed my mind that I would be as blessed giving to others more than I am by watching my children sharing and giving.
I can only imagine how much God swells with pride and joy watching us. This just reminded me of parts of the book The Shack by W.P. Young. He really is amazing. He loves us all and just wants to watch us be blessed. He is particularly fond of us all. Crazy to think of it. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it (before you go see the movie that is now available). The book changed the way I view God and how much He loves me.
Have you been giving? What does it look like when you give? Are you enjoying it or are you feeling like you just have to do it? Maybe it is time to step back, pray and see where He is calling you to be blessed!