ometimes your yeses feel impossibly small. Other times, they feel impossibly impossible.
Sometimes, you wake up one morning and don’t know how you’re going to do what you said you would do. And then you remember: You can’t. You really can’t do this. But He can. You remember that this is His project, for His glory, in His strength, by His “doing.”
So you put your yes in your shaking hands, and you raise it up to God. Again.
That’s how it went down on Sunday morning with Lydia.
Lydia came to me, nearly in tears, with a check in her hand — part of her answer to a “yes” that started two years ago on a Haitian shore, when she said told me that “didn’t want to live an average life” anymore.
I’ll let Lydia tell you, in her own words, about what went down yesterday:
As a 12-year-old girl, it’s pretty obvious I don’t make a lot of money. There’s only so many things I can do. I babysit my sister and neighbors. I clean the house. I help my dad with pig chores. I work in my grandma’s candle shop.
So when I pay for Romario and Amalisa (my sponsor kids) every month, I spend a lot of that money. Often I spend more than I make. I can’t buy things for myself very often. So what do I do?
This morning I wrote a check for Romario and Amalisa for the months of March, April, and May. The total amounted to $210. I have been feeling very overwhelmed lately about this issue. I try to make a few extra dollars every chance I get.
As I told my mom about my struggles, she told me this: “God will find a way to provide always, if it is for his glory.” I tried to believe her, but I couldn’t help doubting.
During church, my friend’s young daughter was getting restless. She was getting frustrated because her daughter was being obnoxious while she wanted to pay attention to the service. So I brought her daughter to the playroom in back and babysat her for the rest of service. (And no, I wasn’t skipping church because we were over halfway through the service and I had gone to a different church with my friend the past night.)
After church, my grandma walked up to me, and handed me a 10-dollar bill. She told me she saw me go in back to babysit the girl and thought it was very nice of me.
God will provide. And God did provide.
That $10 meant more to me than just a 10-dollar bill, though. It reminded me that God always keeps his promises. It reminded me that God will always provide.
And just earlier that service, I stood up on a step-stool to peek over the top of a podium and spoke into a microphone these words from John 20:
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
I am like Thomas. I doubted because I did not see. I did not see any signs that God would provide. I doubted that God would not come through. But God is unchanging, and like I said, he ALWAYS keeps his promises.
(Photos of Lydia with Romario, and with Amalisa.)
Lydia blogged about her experience, and quite frankly, she made me sound far more reasoned and faith-filled than I really was. Truthfully, on the inside, my own spirit quakes with my daughters’ faith-filled Yeses. At times, their plans have seemed impossibly difficult.
But together, our family is learning what it means to say Yes. God has repeatedly told us this:
“You are in charge of obedience. I am in charge of results.”
God is also reminding us the truth that shimmers so beautifully in Kristen Welch’s new book, Rhinestone Jesus. Kristen writes:
“You might be thinking right now, I will never be a world changer. But I want to encourage you to change the way you see the power of one action done for someone else. When it’s combined with the power of one big, God, your small yes can change the world.”
This summer, our family is committed to small yeses and big yeses, knowing that each #yesinmymess has the power to change the world, through the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
Ten Ways Your Small Yes Can Change the World This Summer
1 — Collect toys and pencils and erasers and toothpaste for Operation Christmas Child gift boxes all year long, browsing discounted sections of big-box stores. It adds up! Each year, our small rural church packs more than 125 shoebox gifts.
2 — As a family, select a country this summer, and then pray every day for God to move among its people. We are praying for Haiti. Considering “Googling” a map image of your specific country, print it out, then tape it on the inside of the door you use most. Then, pray for that country every time you leave the house.
3 — Read a book together this summer that encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone. We are reading Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch. And today, Lydia and I are giving away two copies of Kristen’s book!
4 — Commit to sponsoring a child as a family, where everyone contributes a percentage. We sponsor children, individually and as a family, through Compassion International and Touch of Hope in Haiti.
5 – While spring-cleaning your closets and drawers, set aside gently used items for the consignment store. Then, commit to using all profits toward the charity of your choice.
6 — Take all your spare change, and buy food for the food pantry. But instead of buying only canned vegetables (which are usually overly abundant at food pantries) consider also purchasing fun snacks and cookies. People who are struggling to make ends meet would love the extra treat.
7 — Dream big as a family, and watch your small yes turn into something BIG for Him. Two years ago, the girls adopted a motto, “Every kid deserves to play.” Then, they raised $8,000 through the sale of candles and Vi Bella Jewelry to build a playground and basketball court at a village in Haiti. At least 75 percent of those funds were raised through your jewelry purchases — yes, YOU, the readers of this blog!
8 — Lead a game of Bingo or put together puzzles with residents at a local nursing home. Not only does this bring joy to the residents, it also teaches our children to interact with the elderly, and to understand the aging process. Today, if we wanted to, we could avoid the realities of aging — both the beauty and the pain of it. It’s so easy to segregate ourselves by finding neighborhoods and churches that cater only to people our own age. But in doing so, we shield ourselves from the mutual benefit of knowing how we fit into a life cycle that rings time and space.
9 — Look for ways to purchase and promote job-creation ministries like Vi Bella Jewelry or Mercy House. Even if you can’t afford to purchase an item, you can spread the word on your social-media channels.
10 — Do as Kristen suggests in her book, Rhinestone Jesus: “Give what you have. Share it, even if what’s in your hand is ridiculously tiny. Give it away. Ask God to multiply your gift … whether it be a talent, a desire, an open door, an opportunity, or a dollar.”
Rhinestone Jesus Giveaway
We are giving away TWO copies of this wonderful book by Kristen Welch. Winners will be notified next week by email.
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