Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It’s never too late to be what you could have been

We had a guest Sunday School speaker this past week. He is doing a two-part lesson on Hearing Your Call. I couldn’t possibly put all of his teaching into a blog post, but it really struck a chord in me, as I feel strongly that as Christians we should actively involve ourselves in God’s work. Why?

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5

The burning question, though, is how to know what God is calling me to do. The Word tells me He prepared good works in advance for me, that He formed me for certain tasks.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:4-6

I think part of what this verse tells us is that following God’s call will bring us our greatest joy. He gives us the desires of our heart by putting that burning passion into us, a passion that supercedes our preoccupation with self, our fears and our human tendency to block the pain of others.

Our teacher gave us a series of questions last week and asked us to answer them and bring them to Sunday school this week. I am going to attempt to answer the questions here; no one who knows me will find the answers surprising! I thought I would share them here, however, with the hope that the questions might spur on your own thinking and moving toward doing the amazing work that your Heavenly Father has prepared for you.

1. What makes me weep?

The knowledge that children die daily in orphanages around the world without ever having being held, loved, kissed, spoken to kindly, nurtured or valued in any way. Children who have no earthly advocate to make sure they are not mistreated. Babies and children with disabilities, particularly Down syndrome, who are set apart for especially horrific orphanages.

1a. When I lie awake at night, what do I think about?

I think about how on earth we can communicate to other countries and cultures that these children are valuable, precious and that they are robbing their own souls by not treating them properly. I wonder how we can come alongside other countries who can barely take care of their non-disabled people and help them help their most vulnerable. Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I think about adopting! Because it would (will?) take years, most likely, to improve the lives of those children in orphanages I would love to continue to be a part of improving the life of another child or two. I would love to ‘flaunt God’s mercy’ to those in America who don’t see children with Down syndrome as being worthy of life or attention.

1b. What makes me want to pound the table?

The seeming impotence of so many Christians in America is very discouraging. I know that’s a terribly harsh statement, but I have a hard time getting around it. I hope I’m wrong, but it often appears to me that ‘we are far too easily satisfied,’ in the words of C.S. Lewis. The same God who has graciously equipped John and me to take in orphans is more than able to equip all His children!

2. What kind of issues…really energize me? orphans

Needs: conditions in orphanages

Opportunities: going to orphanages; possibly even building an orphanage for special needs kids

Activities: helping others adopt, collecting aid for orphanages then taking it to them and loving on the kids!

Ideas: I am very energized about the idea of coming alongside parents of special needs kids in countries where parents have traditionally been told to give their child to the state. I feel like that is one of the best ways to keep kids in families that otherwise intended to keep their child.

3. If I could meet any need in the world, had every resource required and knew I could not fail, what would I attempt to do? What need would I attempt to meet? What opportunity would I seize? What idea would I like to see come to fruition?

That’s easy; eliminating the 147 million orphans from the face of the earth by placing them in Christian homes.

4. What are the greatest needs and opportunities in each of the following areas:

My family life: loving everyone where they’re at while pushing them to become who they are meant to be in Christ; establishing more structure/daily discipline; teaching the kids what they need to live independently from us but dependent upon God.

Workplace: n/a, but am leaving it hear in case it applies to the two of you who read my blog!

Church: I can’t really say I know what the greatest need is in our church. I know I am excited about the adoption ministry that some ladies are trying to start. Next Monday, in fact, is our first meeting.

Community: Our community has plenty of poverty, drug problems and racial strife/divisions. There are certainly opportunities to be an advocate for foster children.

Country: Our country’s greatest need, and really at every level the greatest need is for God. As far as my particular passions go, however, the greatest opportunity is that we have so many people drawn to help orphans, and many more might if they were properly educated as to the scope of the problem.

5. Is there a particular group of people I feel drawn to?

Orphans with Down syndrome

In what way would I like to minister to them?

I’d most like to see them out of orphanages and back home with their birth parents and if that is not possible I’d like to see them in Christian homes. And once again, I must honestly admit that I'd love to minister to another one or two by bringing them into my home. Just keeping it real, people. Besides, God already knew.


As I said, my answers are hardly surprising. Bless you if you’ve read the whole thing!

If you decide to answer these questions for yourself I’d love to know about your answers. If you blog about it, leave a link in the comments. I love to see how God gives us these passions for issues, or groups, or countries; I love to see people fanning their passions into a flame!

Without passion, man is a latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth a spark. –Henri-Fredric Ameil

It’s never too late to be what you could have been. –George Eliot


Rachel said...

LOVE it Jill! I love to hear your heart! Thank you for sharing!! Praying that God gives you tangible steps to reach out to those you are so drawn too! (((hugs)))

Rachel said...

LOVE your heart Jill! I love to hear what God is stirring...praying for tangible ways to accomplish things that stir you! (((hugs))) Thanks for sharing!

The Browning Family said...

This blessed my heart tonight. I am new to learning of Reeces Rainbow; let alone - the problems with orphans. The day I "accidentally" clicked on RR link was a life changer for our whole family. Now, James 1:27 rings in our heads as we have stepped forward to adopt Matthew and Ivanna and possibly a third child. It's exciting, and a test of our faith in trusting for His provision - big time. We hope to also start annual family mission's trips. That is our vision. We have not gone public yet but I know once we do there may be a few scorners. I just wish I could impart my heart onto them. Make them realize they too can do something. Anyhow, thank you for your post. It does help fan the fire that Christ has already ignited.
Charrissa Browning

Anonymous said...

Hey there friend... i too have posted on my blog my "homework"... looking forward to watching Him reveal to us both His plan for our lives meeting up!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. My encouragement to you is to keep moving. Keep seeking God and don't be afraid to act. God leads us as we take small steps of faith.
I am living in Bulgaria and working on behalf of ten orphans with special needs. Our hope here is to open a group home for these children. They live in a large orphanage, but you and I both know that orphanages are not what these children need.
If you would like to correspond with me, I would welcome hearing from you! (Go to my website and contact me there: