One of my very favorite things to do is watch my friends’ sheep farm whenever they go out of town. When I tell someone that, I usually get a raised eyebrow. I love taking care of the sheep… It never fails, the Lord always teaches me something when I’m with them. Because I am one of His sheep…
And He is a mighty, loving, and gentle Shepherd.
This past New Year’s Eve, I was watching “the countdown” on television at the farm and I heard the Lord say to turn the tv off and pray in the New Year. I turned it off, and sat in silence. A peace came over me. Sitting on the bed, I was shocked at myself….that I was so “cultural”….all I knew was to bring in the New Year with noise. Not this time.
He had a different plan.
Right before the clock struck midnight, I began to pray. I prayed for everything I could think of…and I loved it. I asked the Lord for a verse for 2011, and He told me this…
I opened my Bible and read,
“Show me Your ways, LORD, teach me Your paths.”
I wrote it down in my journal. I must admit that I was disappointed. I wanted a BIG verse! I felt like He had given me something easy, like, “Jesus wept.”
The next morning, I walked out to feed the sheep. I continued to think on that verse. Why something so simple? And then the Lord revealed to me that verse is one of the biggest, most life-changing verses in the Bible.
It is a verse about denying yourself.
It is a verse about deep submission to God….
It says, “I am Yours. Nothing is mine. I surrender everything I have and everything I am.”
It is the verse of a missionary’s life.
Its a hard verse to live by.
Its another leg of the lonely road, or narrow path.
For how many of us can say that we do everything His way and on His path? Far too often we can’t “wait” any longer for what we feel He has promised. We end up taking things into our own hands….or on our own paths.
I looked at one of the sheep that morning. It had been very cold the night before. He had stayed outside all night….icicles were hanging all over his fur.
“You are SO stupid,” I said to this sheep. He kept looking right at me.
“Why didn’t you go in the nice warm barn last night?” I pointed at the barn just 50 feet away.
He just kept staring at me.
Then it hit me….when I go My way, or on My path…..I am like this sheep with icicles, fighting the cold, trying to stay warm, wearing myself out…..all the while my Master had a warm place for me to lay my head. A place He had prepared for me. I just had to take His path….and not my own.
So, here it is….the end of May. The Lord has brought this verse to mind over and over again. With things brought before me, I’ve had to continually say, “let me pray about it.” Its been with advice from friends. Its been saying, “I don’t know why I’m doing this, I just know I have to obey because He told me to.” I have laid hands on someone and the Lord has even told me to “change hands”….not because one hand is better than the next, but because He is quickening me to immediate obedience.
I’m doing my best to walk on His path.
For His path brings reward.
Here is one of the biggest blessings to walking in this verse. On May 2, I had my first deadline to meet for the Cure Go Team to Uganda. My total funds to raise were $4060. I felt very ambitious when I also asked people to believe with me for additional $1000 to pay for a surgery. So, my total was $5060. I believed that I could have $2500 raised by May 2.
During the month of April, I had enough money to meet Cure’s first goal for me of $930. I had done everything I could think of to raise funds. I’ve even sold icees and talked to football players….who cried over the babies when I told them the fate of some Ugandan babies with hydrocephalus.
Since the beginning, I’ve said, “I believe that a stranger could walk up to me and give me $1000, because God told him to.” That was my faith, and I thought it was big.
I had written “1000 Hills” on a bottle of wrinkle releaser and believed God would move.
I prayed about my situation and told the Lord, “I’m going to be like Hezekiah here and lay all of “this” before you. I don’t know what else to do. Help me raise the funds.”
I surrendered it…..and chose His path….and His ways.
On May 4, just 2 days after my first deadline, God breathed on someone and that person paid for my trip. All of it. “Your ministry is great. You are to focus on ministering and no longer worry about bringing in the money. You are to go to Uganda and minister to women.”
Wow. Even as I type this, I have no vocabulary to describe what this person’s words and belief in me, did for me.
After that, I decided that I would now try to raise funds for the additional surgery. I even typed a post up about it….but didn’t publish it….I just didn’t have ‘completeness’ to it.
Last week, I got a message from an anonymous donor….”I just donated a surgery in honor of Ward, the baby on your blog. He’s touched my heart. The Lord told me to do it.”
WOW!! What I thought was hard for God, it was just a crumb for Him. All of my supporters have allowed me to share this testimony with people face to face, and it is awesome to see their faces. I know many were shocked by the amount I had to raise. When I tell them this story, their jaws drop.
I am living in a recession. Times are hard. But that didn’t stop God. He did the unbelievable!
I took my shame before Him….I had put a limit on how big I thought He was with my “$1000 stranger miracle story”. I prayed for Him to show me new ways to pray for His bigness.
If you could see me right now….I have the biggest smile on my face! I have a testimony that began on New Year’s Day with an icicled sheep and a simple verse with a deep act of submission….
“Show me Your ways, LORD, teach me Your paths.” Psalm 25:4
I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings. 😀
(For those of you who are still wanting to donate, please contact me directly….and we’ll seek His ways.)