I began to sink beneath the real possibility that I may not have the willpower to accomplish what I’ve set out to do. What if pushing outside of my comfort zone proves too hard for me? What if I abandon ship because I’m unable to cope with the difficulty of my new adventure? I posed these questions to God at the beginning of the Lenten season last week.
He sent this gentle reminder. Your limitations do not limit me. Don’t you remember?
Still, I resisted. But God, things are different now. I’ve become more complacent. Not to mention, somewhat fat. I’ve lost a bit of strength. And that all-important ambition. And maybe even my edge. Yikes!
Then, my eyes fixed their focus on a candle I keep in my office. I received the candle as a gift when I attended a conference while serving as the executive director of a Care-Net pro-life pregnancy center. It has a special meaning for me because of the Bible verse printed across the front.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us… Ephesians 3:20
A flood of memories of watching God’s power at work washed over me.
Like the evening an exasperated volunteer-in-training came into my office. I tried everything I could possibly think of, but I can’t get the FAX machine to work. Susi, could you please come and give it a whirl?
When you’re managing a ministry, time and money are valuable and in short supply, so as I walked up to the front desk I prayed silently (and desperately) that God would help me solve this problem quickly. The paper wasn’t feeding into the machine and I had no idea what to do. As soon as I saw what was going on, I folded the top edge of the paper under and fed it through. Voila! Problem solved.
Rhonda watched carefully as I did this. Her eyes grew as big and round as saucers. She asked, How did you know to do that?
We work by prayer and by faith here, I assured her.
Intrigued by this new understanding, Rhonda wanted to witness more of this faith. She decided, instead of one day, she wanted to volunteer two days per week.
As the executive director for a pro-life pregnancy center, I had to juggle a lot of balls and equipment breakdowns were commonplace. I’m not super tech savvy, but I found these problems manageable with God’s help. Sometimes, fiddling around with the machinery didn’t work. Instead, we would shut all the computers down, circle around and pray. Remarkably, this almost always got us back up and running.
When we moved the ministry to a new facility, we badly needed some new furnishings. And God knew. I prayed, believing he would provide this for us. One day, I received a call. A business purchased new furnishings and asked me to come and see if what they currently had in their office would meet our needs.
I used all my strength to maintain my composure as I walked from room to room viewing our new office furniture. The quantity of pieces would more than fill up all of our spaces. The lovely mauve color well represented our ministry to mothers and babies, and matched other elements of our office already in place. And, it was free! As I left the building, tears burst from my eyes. God truly had acted above and beyond.
So for me, this Lenten journey will be a time of prayer. A time to pray for the power that continues the work of faith in me. Lent will not be about watching my willpower at work. It will be about witnessing the power of God at work in me.
As we approach Easter, whether you observe Lent or not, let this be a time to ask God for more and expect more, encouraged by what Christ has already done for us.
What are you asking God to do for you in this season?