The Uncomfortable (Wonderful) Truth About Doing What God Tells Us

Last week I did something that made me uncomfortable.

I said yes.

It was to an email from a blog reader who also supports Mercy House telling me about a friend who was very sick. A mother diagnosed with a very serious illness who would be separated from her five beautiful children for weeks, seeking complicated medical intervention in my city, where she and her husband didn’t know a soul. Another mother who had spent her life saying yes to God, loving others.

Would I reach out to her? Would I go and pray for her?  

My first thought was to respond that the hospital was 45 minutes away, that I am really an introvert and terrible in these situations, that I am overwhelmed with my yes to Mercy House and yes to helping refugees and yes to the epic laundry pile. I wanted to excuse myself because I didn’t know when I’d find the time and really, I haven’t stepped foot into a hospital since watching my sister-in-law pass away last year. My first reaction was to come up with all the reasons I couldn’t possibly say yes.

Which is generally a clear indication that I should.

I understand we can’t say yes to everything and everyone. And while I’m careful to guard my time, I really believe there are some questions we don’t have to pray about. There are some situations that grip your heart and you know God is speaking.

And this was one for me.

When I read the email to my husband and kids, they didn’t think twice about going. And I had to be honest with myself.

Because here’s the deal: If my To Do List isn’t governed by love, than I need to lay it down. If I’m too busy to love another person, then I’m too busy.

Because all the doing can make a person sick and leave no time for getting well.

Saying yes and obeying God is uncomfortable. It’s awkward. It requires self-denial. It requires action.

iStock_000024694906Small

It’s easy to have faith at home that God will heal a sick mom I’ve never met, but it’s a different story when I’m standing next to her hospital bed with my family with a bag of books and goodies asking Him to do so.

Because, yes, I’m sure it encouraged my new friend, but even more, it encouraged me. We must understand that obedience isn’t just for the person receiving. It’s even more for the person doing.

The uncomfortable truth of doing what God tells us is this: It’s going to cost something-pride, time, money, bravery. But the reward of stepping into the unknown far outreaches and outlasts the price you have to pay.

A typical week at my house is anything but typical.

There’s always someone dropping off donations on the front porch, packing orders in the Mercy House building in our backyard,  homeschool groups serving, mothers organizing in the garage, random people ringing the doorbell to see if I need help.

If you would have described this life scenario to me a few years ago, I would have laughed. And then hid.

I used to be a private person. I rarely had friends over and I was uncomfortable with people I didn’t know. I was safe in my controlled little world where I didn’t have to push my introverted self out of my comfort zone.

But I wouldn’t trade this real life today for anything in the world. Because my yes depends on a lot of others to say yes with me.

And I’ve been changed in the process.

As we drove home from the hospital, Terrell and I marveled at how much we had in common with our new friends from Missouri and we thanked God for introducing us to this beautiful, brave family.

My kids are already asking when we can go again.

The truth is we needed that visit as much as they did.

Stepping out in obedience makes us feel better because To Do lists can make a soul sick and it’s in the loving others we get well.

Do what God tells you to do. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Especially then.

You won’t regret it.

 

P.S. Please pray for my friend Heather.

Comments

  1. 2

    Karen says

    If I’m too busy to love another person, then I’m too busy………. YES! May I ALWAYS live by this principle!

  2. 3

    Heather S. says

    Perfect message for what I’ve been experiencing lately. A to-do list that is a mile long, organizing a mission trip for 24 next week, and a dear friend fighting for his life from H1N1 and his wife by his side every moment….my husband and I have been ministering to their needs for two months now. I’ve collected meals and maintained a Caringbridge site for them. What if we would have said we didn’t have time for these things? I can tell you this; I would’ve missed out on one of the greatest blessings of my life – being a first-hand witness to a pure God-miracle as the Lord rescued him from death and gave my friend her husband to love again.

  3. 4

    Kristi says

    I just wanted to let you know I’ve never read anyone’s blog who I’ve felt just a kindred spirit with in a long time. I feel your heart and feel much the same way (almost exactly) as you when I read your thoughts in your writing. Thank you for the encouragement, honesty, and boldness with which you write. I sometimes feel on the verge of something big that God has for me but most of the time that thought scares me out of my wits. Your life is an encouragement to me to step out in the uncomfortable. Will pray for your family and what God has for you as well.

  4. 5

    says

    Kristen,

    Love how God is continuing to push you and stretch you and how you so beautifully share it with your readers. Praying for wisdom for you to know when to say yes, say no, how to draw others into ministry and for strength as you juggle so much. Burn out is ugly and I don’t want to see that ever happen to you. Relying on spirit-filled strength is the key and also knowing you don’t have to be everything for everyone. It’s a spirit-filled balancing act for sure!

  5. 6

    Jason Daniels says

    Thank you for going. Rian and Heather are dear friends of ours. We’re part of their children’s ministry. Thank you for loving them when we’re so far away!

  6. 7

    says

    Wow!!! I’ve been hedging about on a divine instruction I received about a year ago because I am just too scared to step out of my comfort zone. Your post today is yet another message from God urging me to step out in faith. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ll be printing this out to read again and again for inspiration.

  7. 8

    Evelyn says

    Kristen, I don’t usually follow blogs but in prayer this morning, God was dealing with me on being and feeling uncomfortable when He needs us to reach out to lost souls. I got home and started searching for scriptures related to this and I came across your blog. Talk about exactly what I needed to hear!! I too love my “me” time but know I need to get in touch with the real needs surrounding me. I will definitely start doing bible studies, something I have neglected far too long. Jesus truly spoke to my heart through your blog. I will be sharing excerpts of this blog for sure!!! Thanks. Blessings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>