The women of LifeWords Today just spent a couple of wonderful days together in Atlanta, Georgia. Tami and Nikki flew in from Southern California to meet up with Nikki’s World Race Squad for their final training before departure on January 9th for 11 months of mission work in Central America, Asia and Africa. My Mom, Karen, drove up from Florida, and I drove down from Charlotte, North Carolina to spend some family time together. Now, I am back home in Charlotte and I am pondering our time together, and looking toward the New Year.
This evening I read the January 6th entry by Sarah Young in her devotional “Jesus Calling” (which all four of us read regularly, and which we highly recommend to you). It is so appropriate for such a time as this:
“I am able to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine. Come to Me with positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish. Ask My Spirit to control your mind, so that you can think great thoughts of Me. Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark. The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see MY POWER and GLORY at work in the situation. Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention. Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life.”
Nikki has inspired the rest of us, and countless others, to let go of earthly things and let God truly lead our lives. She has surrendered to His will for her at this time in her life. She is willingly stepping into extreme circumstances where trust in God is paramount. As I step away from this weekend together, I realize several things.
The four of us are very different. Our individual talents, personalities, and life callings are all different. My Mom is 17 years older than her sister – another generation! My Aunt is 16 years older than me. And I am almost 15 years older than my cousin Nikki! Our perspectives on life vary almost infinitely. We have four very distinctly different life experiences set in different eras.
But, together we share a generational blessing of women in ministry. Our love for our Lord Jesus and our desire to share Him with others, binds us together. Our individuality is woven together with Jesus as the common thread.
This weekend we spurred one another on toward our goals for 2014. We challenged one another. We encouraged one another. We prayed blessings over one another.
I feel more tightly bound to all three of them and to our shared purpose through LifeWords Today than I ever have.
So, for 2014, I challenge you to value and encourage the differences within the members of your spiritual family. I also challenge you to value your own gifts and ask God to give you opportunities to use them. Do not compare your gifts and purpose with others. You are unique, and God planted in you everything you need to make an impact in this world.
Only you can create and give to the world what God put inside of you. Ask Him to activate it and give you vision and purpose that you have never seen before! You CAN do all things through Him who gives you strength!
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6