Two years ago at a meeting I was attending I was asked to take on a position. Apparently, an answer was needed that night. I did what I have taught others not to do; I accepted the position without praying about it. This job consisted of two parts, the first part was to be their Treasurer and the second part was the following year I would move up and lead the group for a year. I accepted without praying.
The first year was not a bad year. I did have to miss a couple of meetings as Treasurer, but I had a friend fill in for me. The second year has been a whole different story. My two predecessors had done an excellent job at showing up every month and leading the group. Neither one of these leaders missed a meeting. So, I thought I would follow in their footsteps and do the same. I just didn’t realize how hard that was going to be.
I was led at the beginning of the year to tell my story about my calendar and how important it played in my life several years ago until God pried loose the calendar from my hands. This year I can see that old habit was creeping back in. God had other plans.
The first month I was asked to go to a Congregation Care Seminar in Kansas City at the Church of the Resurrection. I would be a certified CCM (Congregation Care Minister). My first thought would be to turn down this trip because I would miss the meeting that I was to be leading. After much prayer God directed my path and I knew I was to attend this Seminar. God started me on an amazing journey.
The next month I was instructed (without prior knowledge) that I would be attending the Quadrennial Jurisdictional Meetings for UMW in Oklahoma. I went reluctantly not knowing what I was in for. God started a movement in my life in Kansas City and finished it in Oklahoma.
Ok, so now I have missed two meetings; that equals last year. I am good right? Not so much. My husband’s plant decided to renovate, add jobs and do all kinds of things this year. To finish their construction and their work they would need to close during the week of July 4th. We have only taken one vacation in eleven years. We actually will not be going to Indiana to visit family, but plan on exploring Texas. Palo Duro Canyon here we come. Because of the stress at his work he decided it was time for a vacation. Of course the meeting I am in charge of meets that Friday. Another meeting lost.
Now I am up to three meetings. A sinking feeling begins to set in. A family obligation suddenly arose for can you guess when? June. Really God? Are you serious?
It looks as if I am going to double my absence from last year. When all of this hit Satan decided to do his best and make it that much worse. Terms like failure, letting people down, disappointing people were words I lived with for a week or so. Satan used this to bring me down. I spent a lot of time in prayer and asking God to forgive me for taking on something without a lot of prayer. What God began to do well in me Satan tried to destroy and almost did.
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:13-17
When I fell down on my knees and asked God for forgiveness this scripture came to mind. We all have good intentions and we all want to keep our promises. Not many of us plan to make a promise with the knowledge that we don’t plan on keeping it. We intend to keep promises we make.
God is a God of promises. God’s Word contains literally thousands of Bible promises waiting to be claimed in faith. When God makes a promise He keeps His promise. Deuteronomy 7:9 says this about God, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” We may fail, but God does not.
God will never disappoint us, but we will most certainly over our lifetime disappoint Him. The thing that God has taught me through all of this is when we disappoint God He will never turn His back on us. After beating myself up God picked me up, dusted me off and said to me, “Enough pity partying time. It’s time to move on. Let it go you are only human.” So I dusted myself off and humbled myself and let go of my pride.
“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.” Proverbs 29:25 I have been so consumed with what others think that I have gotten off track. We all need to concern ourselves a little less with the way people judge us and worry more about our relationship with God. People will not get us into Heaven; how we treat people will, but ultimately it will be our relationship with God that matters.
So my lesson for today is NEVER do anything without praying first; don’t set yourself up for failure by comparing yourself to others; know you are human and you will always disappoint people, know you will miss the mark and not always able to keep your promises. Don’t spend weeks having a pity party, seek God and know all will be well. God will work things out for His glory and honor not yours. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 But more importantly remember God loves you and He will never turn His back on you. He is there for you; He has your back. Even if everyone else turns away God won’t.
So at the next meeting I will go and confess I will end up missing more than I had planned, I will confess that I cannot fulfill another’s shoes, and that I might have disappointed a few people, and I will offer up a prayer. I hope others will accept that I am human and make mistakes, but I know ultimately it’s what God thinks that matters.
Dear God I make promises I can’t keep; I challenge myself to do things not thinking about your will or what’s best. When you make promises you keep them you never fail us. When I mess up or make mistakes you pick me up, dust me off and love me anyway. Thank you for loving me and for your grace. Guide me as I share the message you have for me. Let others know that you are a God of love and you love us at all times even when we are less than perfect. Amen