A big welcome to all of you starting out on this new adventure of service somewhere outside your comfort zone! I’m sure you already feel the life-changing impact, and many of you are also feeling the effects of culture shock and maybe a little homesickness. We want you to know that we are proud of you for choosing to serve, and want to encourage you to keep holding on to Jesus as you take on this epic journey.
Sometimes, especially as you’re starting off, it is easy to get a little intimidated by the size of the task. When it starts to get “real,” you start to wonder if God knew what He was doing when He put this call on your heart. You wonder if you’re good enough, spiritual enough, smart enough. But the truth is, it’s not about what you have. It’s about your willingness to share your picture of Jesus and trust Him to help you do that.
Recently I helped out at our church’s Vacation Bible School. On the last day of VBS, we had an activity where the kids were supposed to draw a picture on a postcard for someone in their life that they wanted to share God’s love with. Then we prayed for the person, and the kids were supposed to give the postcard to them later.
In one of the lower-grade classes, I saw one of the girls gazing dejectedly at her postcard. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me that she was just finishing her picture, and was drawing the face of her stick-figure friend, when another friend had accidentally bumped her arm—which made her mess up on the eye and the nose. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to give it to her friend because it was messed up.
Trying to think fast, since time was running out, I told her maybe we could fix it. I tried converting the messed-up eyes into sunglasses. But then the girl said she still didn’t like the nose. So I tried converting the messed-up nose into a bigger smile. But she said that made her friend look like an adult, which was not accurate. So I asked her if maybe she could give the picture to her mom instead. I assured her that her mom would still think it was lovely, and then she could still share God’s love with her mom. But she insisted it was way too obvious that the picture was only of her, her friend, and Jesus, and her mom was nowhere to be seen in the picture. That would not be ok.
By now, it was now time for their group to line up, so I asked my little frustrated friend, “If you really don’t want this picture, can I have it? I’ll put it up on my fridge, because I still like it.” She agreed, at first eagerly, but then she seemed conflicted. I wasn’t sure if it was because she had changed her mind and wanted to give it to someone else, or if she just didn’t think it was good enough for my fridge either.
How often do we choose not to share our picture of Jesus and His love because we feel like someone ruined our picture, or that it is just not good enough? The beautiful thing about Jesus’s grace in our lives is that if we give our picture to Him—however messed up it might be— He can fix it. He can remind us of who He really is, and of the reality of His incredible future for us in His home. Then He can help us to see someone in our life with whom we can share our picture.
My prayer is that we each will have a personal encounter with Jesus, and a Spirit-led encounter with someone who needs to see our picture of Jesus.
Once a month, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers. This was written by Andrea Keele, and was sent to our volunteers on August 16, 2017.