Take the Time
•You can turn around and walk away. Tell yourself there’s nothing here to see. Try so hard to look the other way. As if you hadn’t noticed anything. You do it to the least of these, You do it to Me. You’ve got to take the time. You got to take the time. Shadow is a voice of no concern; running through the bridges that we burn. You can’t even feel your lonely marks. So how can you pretend to lead the blind? You do it to the least of these, You do it to Me. You got to take the time. You got to take the time. I’m the hungry and the weak, Can you even see me? I’m the stranger all alone, won’t you welcome me home? I’m the naked and the shame, Won’t you look my way? You got to take the time. You got to take the time!
The more I think about going on a missions trip, I can’t help but feel convicted by the lack of mission in my own home. As I shared these feelings with a friend they shared, “But Sarah, you are doing it all the time by serving the youth.” This might be true in some way, but the reality in my heart is that this is an easy place to do it. I am passionate about the youth. I have served so long that it has become easy.
Christianity is not meant to be easy. I have been on a journey in the past four months, taking a new Bible and going on a journey with it, through my old one. I have been rereading all that I have highlighted through the 11 years of ministry on Kauai. The moments God spoke to me in His still small voice. The times He has hugged me in a moment of fear, held me in the times of pain or frustration. The times He carried me when I had nothing left to give or no strength to keep walking. The whispers of encouragement in the moments of defeat or failure. The smiles He shared with me in the reminders that He loved me. The silent tears cried, that He placed in a bottle, not missing one of them. The strength we shared as He walked with me through the darkest hours. The healing He brought me by His Grace, that enabled me to love like He did; giving me the ability to love the one who I once thought was unlovable. The reminders that not one step I took was in vain, even when I watched so many walk away. The constant pursuing me, when I wanted to be left alone. The challenges to run harder and long, telling me that giving up was not an option. Him calling me to new steps of faith, even when I could not see how it was possible. The never ending forgiveness when pride got the best of me. The reminder that I could always come boldly to receive His great grace and mercy at His thrown.
All of these moment have had so many emotions but the one thing that none of them were, was easy. As I took this journey I found myself missing all the firsts that ministry had. The unchartered waters that had never been walked. The total dependency on God for every step. The excitement of seeing Him do new things. Seeing the fire flamed; that contagious excitement of the Lord doing new things.
I am not saying that I do not continue to see Him working, He is, He daily blows me away! What I am saying is that I miss the steps of faith in reaching the lost (not just youth) on Kauai. I can think of several people that the Lord has placed in my path that need His truth, His love. Yet in some way shape or form, I have turned and walked away from those opportunities. I don’t want to go serve those in Mexico only, I want to step up and step out in the community and be a loud voice for the Lord. He wants to use us, He waits for us to be willing to step out of easy Christianity, to see Him do above and beyond what we thought He could do, by His power working in and through us.
Last month I was in New Jersey speaking at a girls conference. I love traveling and sharing Christ with others, but I love the stories I walk away with. The last story was from a 16 year old named Christina. Her life has never been easy, she was born with a tumor growing out of her face from her nose. She has spent her life having surgery after surgery, hiding in a sense from the world that often can be so mean. As she has gown in the past year in her relationship with Jesus, she found strength in Him. She no longer wanted to hide from the world, but became passionate about reaching the lost in her community (none to be the city with the highest crime rate in the US). So she took the step of faith to put on the first ever girls outreach in her community. There were over 300 girls in attendance. After sharing with these inner city girls I gave an invitation to receive Christ. I would say about 40% of the girls that were there gave their heart to Christ. I heard story after story of tragedy and pain these girls had faced. I had several of them cry in my arms just needing a hug. I can’t help but smile when I think of their sweet moments of firsts they are about to have with Christ.
I am so thankful for the Christina’s who are willing to step out and not afraid of the unknown. Christianity my friends is not meant to be easy. When we are walking in Christ, we will always be blown away by the fruit those difficult steps often produce!
If you are like me, and find yourself in a routine that has become easy, I challenge you to step out again and ask God to use you in new ways. It will be a challenge, but it will be a reward too! Please pray for the group of 28 that will be in Mexico with me, pray that God will challenge them as He has me.