I was in scholastic bowl all through junior high and high school. The coach was the same through it all, which was awesome because he was a great teacher and a lot of fun to be around. He taught social studies in junior high and French in high school. I remember he told us a story from when he was in college and some of his friends decided to go to France for a few days. It may have been for school, but I don’t remember. Anyways, when they touched down in France, he said that they got out of the airport and looked around and thought to themselves, “We have to be here for 3 days?” My teacher/coach said that it didn’t smell that great there and the food wasn’t the best either. I’ve always remembered that and don’t have any plans to go to France anytime soon, thanks to that story.
While I can say I have never regretted going somewhere like my old scholastic bowl coach and his friends, I have felt lost sometimes. I think to myself about what I am doing and is it enough. I question if I’m doing the right thing or why I don’t do more. And the more I read the Bible, the more often I ask myself that question. We are told of people doing amazing things in the Bible, such as causing droughts to start and stop, raising people from the dead, parting seas, healing the injured, and the list can go on. I find myself struggling to just bring up Jesus in conversation. There are a lot of things about my own life that are works in progress. But it got me wondering, “Am I the only one that feels this way?” Maybe I am, but I think I’d be willing to bet I’m not.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the story of Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22. If you aren’t, take a look at the story, because it’s a good one. Balaam is hired by Balak, king of Moab, to prophesy against Israel as they are in the wilderness and just destroyed the Amorites. So as Balaam is on his way to Israel, an angel comes to block the road. Balaam’s donkey sees it, but Balaam doesn’t. It isn’t until an interesting conversation takes place that Balaam realizes there’s an angel in the middle of the road holding a sword. I don’t know about you, but that would scare the heck out of me. Balaam is then told to only say what the angel tells him to say, which as I’m sure you can imagine, are blessings on Israel and curses on Moab.
Balaam thought he was on a path to help Moab, but he quickly finds out that there are much bigger plans for him from God. I wonder if we are in similar situations as Balaam. We think we are doing the right things, but we are missing out on so much more that God has for us. In August, I spoke on the mission trip and the amazing things I saw God do in Arizona, and I think it’s time to see Him do some amazing things in Lima, Ohio, and the surrounding areas. However, that can only happen if we are his hands and feet, going to people and talking to them about a God that loves them deeply, cares for them completely, and offers grace abundantly for the times we fail.
I will be the first to admit that I am far less than perfect. There are a lot of things in my heart and mind that God is healing and improving, and for that I am eternally grateful. I’m sure you can say the same thing about how He’s worked in you during your life. But He doesn’t want to stop there. He wants to work in everyone. After all, Ephesians 1:4-6 tells us, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” God’s will for you and me and everyone on this planet is to be adopted into His family. So, what are we here for? We’re here to build God’s kingdom of love and grace. We’re here to show the world that there is a far better life out there for those that follow Jesus. We’re here to be Jesus’ hands and feet to a broken world, just as was His purpose when He was here. It’s why it was better for him to go and for the Holy Spirit to come. Now, Jesus’ power is in us all and not just Him. So, let’s get out there and use the Holy Spirit to show God’s love to so many people in need of it.