Recently - within the past couple months - I have been looking back at my life and seeing the things God has been doing. So Saturday I was thinking, if asked the question: what has God been doing in your life?, I could go back to just this last week. It would take some time to share the large amount I have seen in the last six months.
Then Sunday at church our Pastor was talking about at an old church he was at where they did Testimony Sunday every now and then. He said it seemed like it was always the same people going up and talking about what happened fifeteen years ago in their lives. He wondered, well what is God doing now? This is part of the journey I have been over the last year: seeing God's hand in my life from years ago to seeing his hand in my life now. It is quite exciting.
So I want to share what it is God is teaching me now. I was living for a month or so, not knowing what was going to happen in the next chapter of my life and having the possibilities change from week to week. While I was secure and at peace knowing that whatever God has in mind is best, it did get tough having that large uncertainty for so long. So when I learned that I was not going to be leading a small group, I was okay with it, but disappointed. I really wanted to have a group, but I knew God had a reason as to why not. So this last week I learned that reason. I had been wondering why (concerned) I wasn't able to put into words why I wanted to lead; I am glad I was never asked to. I had this idea of what a good small group would look like, but when I really thought about it this last week, me leading was not necessarily part of that equation.
Glorifying God and pointing people towards him was and is something that I see as important. But God drew my attention this week to a piece of that puzzle I was missing. Part of glorifying Him is loving others. I have been aware that loving people is not a burden I have felt before, but now it is. If I am to be a good leader, I really need to care about the people in my group, and it is likely I won't know (all) these people - and caring about people I don't know is often hard for me. The words to an old Ginny Owens song hit me and brought this lesson clearly into focus: "I could show up every Sunday, lead the choir and Bible study; and they all might come to know me as a leader and a friend... but if I do not love, I am nothing."
I have used excuses before as to why it is more difficult for me, but God is telling me those exuses are not acceptable. So my prayer is that God will change my heart and show me where he wants me to actively show love towards others and give me the courage to follow through. I already see him starting to change my heart. It's funny; I feel like this lesson has a deadline - ten weeks then the small groups start the next season in April. So I know I will still have plenty to learn, but the deadline (I wish I had a better term) makes me feel more proactive about it. I would not have asked God what I can do to learn a lesson otherwise.