For years I have prayed for the Lord to give me a heart for what burdens Him. I ask for eyes to see what He sees, and ears to hear what He hears. Much to my shame, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized He had answered this prayer a long time ago, and that I hadn’t even recognized it.
When my youngest son was a baby, each night as I bathed him I would feel this overwhelming sense of awareness of the abundance of resources available to me, when in contrast, there are mothers around the world struggling to provide the most basic care for their children. I had easy access to plenty of fresh, clean water, a surplus of milk and healthy foods, warm clothes to dress my kids, a safe community to raise them and doctors and medicines in plenty to treat my children when they were ill.
As the Lord burdened my thoughts with the plight of these mothers, I wondered things such as, “Why do I have so much, when others have so little?” And, “What could I even do to help?” To be honest, and this part shames me in retrospect, I wouldn’t allow myself to dwell on these thoughts for too long because the longer I thought about the weight of the problem, the guiltier I’d feel about what I had, and about how I was doing nothing to help those who went without.
I have learned that there is a difference between guilt and conviction of the Holy Spirit. When this dawned on me, I knew I did not need to feel badly about the many resources available to me. However, the Lord had revealed His heart to me, just as I’d asked, and I’d chosen to do nothing about that! The Lord had graciously answered my prayer…so now what was I going to do about it?
“What can I do?” “How can one women ever do enough to make a difference?” “Where would I even start?”
My answers came as quickly as the questions. I will do my part.
Yes, my part may appear small by some standards, but God can take my obedience and bless it…He can even multiply it. All He is asking for is my obedience. He is a God without limits. He is the same God, who in Matthew 14, fed 5,000 people with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. He can take what I have and accomplish His purpose. But first, I must offer it up to Him.
When you think about those living in extreme poverty do you share any of my old thought patterns? Maybe you wonder if the little bit of money you have left over after paying your bills would even make a difference. Or you might wonder how you could ever decide which charity to give to, which one you could trust. Not that these aren’t important things to consider, because they are, to a degree. Just don’t let yourself get stuck there.
When the Lord puts a conviction on your heart or tells you to do something, go do it. And do it quickly. He will take your obedience and use it for His glory to accomplish His purpose. He doesn’t need you to figure out all the details for Him first. He just wants you to obey, and He will take it from there!
The next time the Lord puts a burden on your heart that seems too big to solve on your own, remember – no obstacle is too big for Him. You may not feel like you have enough money or time or know-how to solve this problem. If you feel overwhelmed, exhale a big sigh of relief and remember that He’s only asked for your obedience – the rest is up to Him.