Have you ever had someone suggest that you could do something ..and thought, “Who me? They must be thinking of someone else – I can’t do that!”
As I began my Period of Discernment, that’s
exactly what I was thinking, “Who me?” “Who am I to think that I could be a minister of the Word, to be ordained, to be a leader serving in Christ’s church?”
As part of my Period of Discernment (or PoD) I went on a
discernment retreat up at Nunyara Conference Centre at Belair. At one point during the
retreat we were sent off to spend some time in silence and listen for the still small voice of God speaking to us.
I headed off by myself to sit quietly with my Bible. During that time I was led to one particular verse which stood out and has been significant for me ever since:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and
self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)
It was that word timid, that stood out for me.
Time after time I have felt called to take on challenging roles or tasks. Some have called me courageous or brave. But I don’t think that’s been the case. Under the surface I have often lacked self-confidence, wondering if God picked the right person!
Through this time of formation, first in my PoD and then as a Candidate, God has shown me over and over how much God loves me – with such a deep, abiding,
God has shown me that if I trust in God and step out in faith, I can do what God calls me to do, through the strength and enabling power of the Holy Spirit – many times confirmed by the encouragement and prayers of others – often just at the right time!
And God has shown me that if I call on God’s name and wait for God’s leading, God’s
promises will be fulfilled.
So, through the Holy Spirit, I have learned that God does give me the courage to do the things he calls me to do.
The power, love and self-discipline that come from the Holy Spirit far outweigh any fear or self-doubt or timidity – even when they do come creeping back in to my mind.
In this time of formation, through mentoring, study, prayer, ministry-practice,
vulnerability and reflection I have moved to a place where I can say, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
What is God asking you to do?
Each one of us is unique and brings particular gifts, skills and passions to contribute to the body of Christ and to this world we live in.
May you too, have the courage, power, love and self-discipline of the Holy Spirit to carry out your unique calling.