the short one
On Thanksgiving evening, we love to watch a good movie. Often we go out, but there really isn’t any great show on right now that beckons us. We’ll probably stay in and watch an old one on TV. One of my favorite old movies is “The Hiding Place” starring Jeannette Cliff George as Corrie ten Boom. If you haven’t seen it, run and get a copy for your library. It is one to watch more than once. It is the true story of amazing miracles during the Holocaust at Auschwitz. Depending on your children’s ages, it is not appropriate for anyone under ten or so, but is a great selection for a mixed group of adults.
What do you do after the Thanksgiving meal? Need I ask, is football on the menu? A nap? Are you going to see a movie? And my most pressing question: Who does the dishes?
the long one
(I can’t get the song link to play the whole song. If you like, click on it and go to imeem.com and listen to the whole song–it has awesome lyrics.)
Jeannette Cliff George (who now resides in Houston and is the artistic director for a Christian playhouse called the A.D. Players) once wisely quipped, “God is never late. But He rarely takes an opportunity to show up early.” I’ve noticed something similar about God’s timing. He never gives us a task He doesn’t equip us for, but He often waits to equip until we say yes to the task. I realized today that I am waiting for Him to equip me before I start His work, much of the time. There is a time for waiting on God’s timing, but this is not it. That kind of waiting it is a whole other blog-worthy topic, but not today’s. The kind of waiting I’m talking about is choosing not to do what I know I am supposed to be doing. When we wait, we are saying to God “No” or at the very least, “Not yet.” Neither are poor responses if He is directing us to slow down and wait. However, when we know God is telling us to do something for His Kingdom, and yet we still wait for the great launch, we are being disobedient to His call. Let me tell you something. Just because there’s no lightning bolt revelation or thunder from heaven, it does not mean God is not prompting us, asking us to step out in faith. I’ve been sitting here waiting and have decided the great launch isn’t coming. I’m the one that is expected to move. I’m the one that has to step out one step in faith, and the anointing will come. I think it’s time for me to get up off the couch of procrastination and jump in, or at least put one foot in the water again.
This isn’t the first time God has tried to teach me this truth. A couple of years ago, my business partner and I were doing a speaking engagement. Our forte was children and this audience was a more sophisticated group of adults than we were comfortable with. When we spoke, we always started the same way—we’d pray over the phone the morning of the engagement, and He would give us the grace we needed for that event. It worked miraculously well for two women who loved to talk but didn’t like to speak. However, on this particular engagement, we had not felt clearly what we were to speak on, and truly, if we could hold their interest long enough to get more than a polite applause at the end knowing they were just glad we were sitting down.
We were rushed that morning and only started praying together on our cell phones driving to the event. Though we prayed, I felt very insecure, and told my friend I didn’t have the peace I usually had. In fact, as we walked in, I was convinced that we were on our own and said as much, being the faith-filled one that I am. No anointing. No equipping. No special mercies. Not even a good opening line. A hundred thoughts raced through my mind as we entered the room. I hate feeling unprepared and nervous. I hate it when others are unprepared and nervous, too. Nobody likes to feel uncomfortable, but especially no one likes to feel alone and stranded. We smiled as we walked in, though our stomachs were tied in knots. We were greeted by a nice looking man in a suit who came up and introduced himself and told us he was the president of the group and would be introducing us.
He said, “Hi, I’m Bruce Hillegeist.” My friend questioned back, “Hillegeist? What an unusual last name.”
He replied, “Yes, it means Holy Ghost. I just tell people my name is Bruce Holy Ghost.”
It didn’t take us long to realize that God has quite a sense of humor. Not only did He show up, but He walked right up to us and introduced Himself. It was all we could do not to burst into laughter when we caught each other’s eye with the Can you believe it? look. I have no idea what we said after that. I do know one thing: He orchestrated all of it to say, “Do you trust Me? Come here. Trust Me. I am here.”
After finishing the Esther Bible study where God is not mentioned once in the whole book, we saw how He was all over every page and every detail of the story. How about you? I wonder if you have had similar times when you felt God was far away, only to finally turn around and see He was right there all along. What is it that you know God wants you to do? Are you like me, waiting for the atomic launch of equipping? Are you waiting or procrastinating? There’s a difference. “And let us consider how we may spur each other on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)