June 24, 2019

God Speaks - Shirley S. Tye

When God calls, do you hem and haw, and wonder who spoke?  “Was that God?  Nah! He wouldn’t pick me for a job like that. I can’t do that - don’t have the education or experience.”  We can come up with a number of excuses not to heed God’s calling just as Moses and Jonah.  

Moses had several excuses.  Some of his excuses were; I’m not good enough (“Who am I … Exodus 3:11); I don’t know what to say (“What shall I say to them?” Exodus 3:13); I’m not an eloquent speaker (“I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” Exodus 4:10).  When God called Jonah; “Arise, go to Nineveh.” (Jonah 1:1).  Jonah did arise and go - but in the opposite direction. He outright refused God’s calling. After some persuasion, Jonah relented and did as God had requested. 

We may not have what it takes to carry out some of the missions which God wants us to fulfil when we first set out but He will “…equip us with everything good for doing His will…” (Hebrews  13:21) just as He did with Moses. “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) And I suppose, when God wants us to do something He’ll keep knocking at our door until we answer Him and “arise and go”. He’ll do whatever it takes to catch our attention just as He did with Jonah.

As we carry out God’s calling for us, we might not be aware of the impact we make on others - or shall I say, how God is reaching others through us.  As writers, it may not always be our best work that carries a meaningful message to someone. 

When I had a story ministry a few years ago, I was excited by the invitations I received from churches, ladies’ groups, nursing homes, and a mentally challenged group of adults.  Sometimes story ideas came from God.  When that happened, the story flowed easily onto the paper and it was a joy to tell it.  But when I forced an idea, squeezing words from my mind and juggling them around until they appeared to make a reasonable story, it sounded like gibberish to me when I told it.  Afterwards, in my embarrassment, thoughts rolled about in my head; that was a terrible story; not my best work; and it was too long.  Despite that, there was always someone who came to me to let me know the story had touched them, or reminded them of something, or made them aware of something they had done or should have done.  It didn’t matter whether the story idea came from God or from my own imagination. There was no stopping God’s word from going out to whomever He especially wanted to reach at the time.  I was doing what God had called me to do; to encourage others. He blessed the listener and me.  

3 comments:

  1. Shirley, I connect with the idea that sometimes God uses what seemed like gibberish to us to bless people. Not always what we'd consider our "best." I'm thinking also about your line: It didn’t matter whether the story idea came from God or from my own imagination. -I think we underestimate our "sanctified imagination" as though that isn't part of who we are as created in his image. There are many excuses out there, and within :) Thanks for this post!

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  2. Thanks for you thoughts on the way God uses our ministry, be it music, writing, or just living our lives, Shirley. Very recently I read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, where Paul talks about boasting and accolades, of sorts. He says that if he were to boast, he would boast only in his weakness. And just so he wouldn’t think he was so wonderful, God gave him a thorn in the flesh, which he had asked God three times to remove.

    To that God replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” It may not always be our award-winning pieces that speak to our readers. Paul concluded that he would boast of his weakness, “so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” When the power of Christ dwells in us, that power can also work through us. May God continue to bless your writing and your stories, Shirley.

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  3. Thanks you for this post, Shirley. I feel the same way sometimes - torn between excitement and doubt/just feeling tired of it all... Then someone mentions the positive impact and it makes me realize that its all worth it, even if it only affects one person. perhaps this is a lesson for all of us to make sure we give those words of encouragement when something impacts us. It might be just what the writer needs to hear...

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