About four years ago I started a group on Facebook to challenge my friends to spend more time with God each day. It started off with just a daily verse, something for them to ponder and draw them closer to God. After about a year, I started writing little blurbs on what that day's verse meant to me which then led to full devotions after about three months. That was three years ago and since then I have attempted to provide a new verse each day, alternating the Old Testament and the New Testament.
My devotions were for anyone who wanted to join the group, but not posted publicly. A few months ago I started sharing the devotions on our church webpage, picking up where our former pastor had left off, though I didn't sign my name.
I didn't want anyone knowing it was me. I had several reasons for wanting to remain anonymous, some humble, some not so humble. I didn't want the readers to focus on the writer and her craziness, just the words and the message, which always comes from the Holy Spirit. I also didn't want to be judged or fail in some fashion, I didn't want to take a risk by putting myself out there for complaints, ridicule or rejection.
However, I didn't remain anonymous for long. Our pastor finally requested that I add my name so when the devotionals leaned toward the female perspective, it wouldn't cause any confusion. I struggled with it, but did it anyway which has led to this article.
When asked to write a devotional for the paper, I stammered again, not only would I have to add my name, but also a picture! People I don't know might recognize me, especially when I am not at my best, which is more often than I like to admit.
As I thought of wonderful excuses not to write, I was reminded of when God called Moses to share His message. In Exodus, chapter four, God is instructing Moses what to say to the Israelites about their upcoming deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Moses is coming up with many excuses as to why God needed to pick someone else. The Lord promptly answers in Exodus 4:11-12 (NIV), "Who gave human beings their mouth? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
Indeed, who created us, who gives us the words to speak when sharing the gospel with others, who gives us grace and mercy for do-overs, who guides our thoughts if we let Him? When asked to do something that is hard, or out of the ordinary for us, we excel at making excuses or suggesting someone else who would be better equipped. When we do this, we aren't listening or trusting in God and the Holy Spirit. We are thinking about our inadequacies instead of God's mighty power; we worry about what others will think instead of showing our love and devotion to Christ our Savior.
Anonymity provides safety, provides comfort, but it also keeps us from shining Christ's light to others.
We will all make mistakes, we will all be hypocrites at one time or another, sometimes our words will get jumbled, but it isn't about us. We are children of God, disciples of Christ. If the Lord gives us something to say, a job to do, we need to stand tall and say it, show Him and others that we are fully committed to Christ and doing His work no matter where or how He desires us to do it.
"Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts." -- Psalm 105:2 NIV
JODI HENDRICKS IS A LONG-TIME MEMBER OF FARMINGTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. SHE TEACHES ADULT AND YOUTH BIBLE CLASSES.General News on 09/06/2017