Months ago, I was viewing a commercial rental space and through the window, saw a dead bird lying right in the middle of the walkway. Before the owner arrived, I grabbed a plastic bag from the car to use to dispose of it. He opened the outer door and proceeded to tell my husband and I about the space. He glanced at the lifeless bird as I walked toward to pick it up. I said “poor bird” and he said “yeah, I can’t do that. I can barely look at it.” At this moment, I immediately thought, My God, the compassion he has for this carcass is more than I’ve seen people have toward living humans. Could that same sympathy be shown toward a vulnerable child or adult who’s in need and often times overlooked and underserved? The type of compassion Jesus extended to those in which many thought didn’t deserve it.
A pastor out of New York and leader of a global children’s outreach once stated that, “The need is the call”. It took me a while to truly understand that statement because these little five words are loaded with context that may question everything we all have fully committed ourselves to. If someone ever asked to help reach a child or maybe even older youth, what was your response? Was it the typical phrase “this is not my area of expertise” or “this is not my ministry”? These are both two phrases I’ve heard before but the test comes when you realize there may not be anyone else willing to take on the challenge. The destiny of a generation, currently the largest population cohort in the world, could be tied to one moment of obedience for you, your spouse, brother, sister or colleague. Shouldn’t this notion be enough to encourage us all to do whatever it takes to accept the hard job.
There’s a story in the bible that talks about an ambitious king by the name of Saul. He was the first king of the Israel with BIG goals to lead well and please others. God had given him a specific assignment that he chose not to fully obey. When Saul reported back to Samuel, the priest who ordained him as king, shared a message from the Lord and said, “To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22). I can’t imagine giving up everything to present my best to God thinking I’m honoring Him—when really it was all wrapped in selfish ambition to be successful in the eyes of people. Saul said “he feared people and chose to obey their voice.” Today, think about who’s voice you listen to when it comes time for you to receive your assignment. Will you allow the voice and opinion of other people to influence your decision to obey God’s Word?
There’s always something hard for us to do in this world, that is oftentimes the most important assignment in life that directly impacts the up and coming generation. The task often forces us to step out our normal way of life, our preferences, our idealistic thoughts of what we desire to be our true purpose. Then comes that breaking moment—when God reveals to you why you’re really here on earth and what assignment He’s given you to accomplish through Him. It’s a moment of truth, redemption, a gravitational tug toward doing something greater than what you had originally planned, also known as a calling. What will say? What will you do?
My 10-year old son recently referred to my husband and me as “trailblazers” because of the work we do to serve our communities and the next generation. It’s a phrase that I would have never used to describe us because we aren’t doing anything groundbreaking or new. We are just flawed people who love a perfect God on a mission to share that love. The fate of generations in this realm and most certainly in the next, is something we care about. The knowledge of all things next generation is not embedded in our minds. We don’t have all the solutions to every issue but we are connected to our Creator, through the grace of Jesus Christ, who’s all powerful, knows all, and loves all. I pray that through the grace of God that you are empowered and encouraged to not only do what’s reasonable but what’s necessary to obey Him. Let the Living Word remind you that He Who is in you is greater than he that is in the world. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus as you go and blaze that vital, life-altering trail.