The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, June 24, comes to us from Janice Hagood LeMaster of Alabama, USA
Exodus 4:10-13: “Moses raised another objection to God. ‘Master, please, I don’t talk well. I have never been good with words, neither before not after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.’
“God said, ‘And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you – with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say’
“He said, ‘Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else.’” (The Message)
Several years ago, at the request of our small church, our minister led us through a Bible study that offered insight into energizing and growing our congregation and helping members to take on new leadership roles. However, at the end of the study, no volunteers stepped up to accept new or expanded responsibilities.
With every meeting and discussion that followed, I was more convinced that we needed more people to take on leadership roles. One thing I knew for sure: I would not be one of the volunteers. As a very shy person, my comfort zone is the back row. My face flushes and my heart races at the thought of leading a Bible study or even a planning meeting.
Though my challenge was not nearly as great as the one Moses faced in today’s reading, I could still identify with him. My different approaches to God’s gentle nudges included ignoring them, suggesting other people who were much better qualified, and finally begging, “Please, Lord, not me.”
In the end, I led the intentional faith development team for six years with a superb group of people who made the work much easier than I’d anticipated. When we follow God’s lead and give thanks for opportunities to grow in faith, God can use us in ways we never expected.
Prayer: Dear Lord, open our hearts and minds to serve wherever you need us. Amen.
–Janice Hagood LeMaster
Thought for the Day: God will equip me to serve others.
Prayer Focus: My Church Community
This devotion reminds me about a sermon that Bishop Judith Craig preached at my first ordination. Although the “God’s Call” is often used with those who are considering ordained service in the church, the truth is that it speaks loudly to all of us in many of our endeavors. Bishop Craig offered these perspectives about discerning God’s call for each of us:
First, as you reflect retrospectively about your life, where do you see the paths of your journey leading you? Are there moments when you felt the voice of God directing you, or when you became particularly aware of an event or circumstance that felt especially significant? What was the significance?
Second, what have those people whom you trust implicitly, those who will speak truth to you, saying about your direction? In his book The Will of God, theologian Leslie Weatherhead, says that perhaps we should look at the one next to us and ask, “What if they be God?” Of course, that shouldn’t be understood literally. But instead as an understanding that this person might be an instrument of God’s voice in that moment.
Third, Bishop Craig simply asked, “Where/when does your joy bubble up?”