Months ago, Joe Springer was preaching from a passage in Hebrews and a verse stuck out to me that has never left me. It was Hebrews 10:31 and it goes like this: It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. I think what stuck out to me is its incredibly brutal honesty. I love when authors of the Bible are honest with their audience because it makes me realize that I too am allowed to be afraid, to be weak, to be joyful…to be whoever I truly am in each moment. This realization fits perfectly with today’s activity.
Yesterday and today, Greg facilitated a training on professional development and how it is intertwined with personal spiritual development. So, as a majority of the team went to visit some of the water projects just outside of Kigali (these are not part of Bethany’s partnership, but an example of some of the work another church partner has been dedicated to for years: http://20liters.org/about/), I sat and observed the training that Greg and Maggie were volunteering their time at. It was a delight to see Greg’s passions coming out as he served this need for the staff. The part that stood out most to me was a conversation about emotional competencies and their significance in servant leadership. When I refer to emotional competencies, I am referring to traits such as empathy, honesty, integrity and compassion. If my return to the staff of World Relief has taught me or reminded me of anything, it is that they are some of the most honest and good hearted people I know…and it shows in their work.
The reason an organization like World Relief is successful is because the 20 leaders who were in that room today are incredibly passionate about what they do. They pour their heart into their work and the people they work with and it results in orphans matched with a volunteer who visits them every single week. It brings love that was once lost back into marriages and families. It turns rain water into clean drinking water. It teaches a child the importance of using a mosquito net to prevent malaria. It turns one dollar into enough money to feed a family and have enough leftover at the end of one year to buy a goat (or two or ten!). But without attention given to emotional competencies, the work being done simply won’t be done as well because the passion will not be there. And passion comes from a certain trust that you have been called, you have answered, and you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Greg shared a verse with the staff that was perfect. Perfect for them. Perfect for our team. Perfect for me. Perfect for you.
But now this is what the LORD says —
he who created you, Jacob
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine!”
Calling is significant. Without it, I would most certainly not be writing this blog and I would definitely not be in Africa right now. But here I am, writing this blog, in Africa. And I got here because God called and I answered. Though I don’t know if I’ll be back, what I do know is that right here, in this moment, I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. Following God’s call is never a walk in the park. Or if it is, it’s a walk in the park with unpredictable weather conditions and potentially wild animals ready to pounce. Hebrews said it best, “It is a TERRIFYING thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Terrifying! It’s so true, but then you look back at Isaiah and know that you are never alone. For you have been called and you will be cared for each step of the way. Do not fear, but instead savor every moment, resting in full assurance that life’s next steps will become clear in due time.