|Promises Kept |
"For I have not given you a spirit of fear (timidity), but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-control." (self-discipline) 2 Timothy 1:7
In January I chose this verse as a focus verse for the year along with the words courage and boldness. At the time no one predicted what was to come during 2020. When I started to reflect on this verse, I thought about changing my habits to care for this gift of life God has given me. I thought about being willing to grasp hold of the opportunities God showed even in uncomfortable situations. I thought about using what I have to build up those around me, to engage with neighbours more, and to continue to look for God's hand in my life and our community. All these happened and so much more.
This year this verse came to mind in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. Even when I prepared to write this post, God reminded me through a podcast that His spirit of power and love and self-control are working through us to accomplish His work. Not only that but He wants to work with us boldly and powerfully.
I clung to Him during the spring shut down. The absence of physical gathering with community highlighted the value of these communities. But our God made us with creativity and we were able to find new ways to gather, new ways to reflect His love. For me it came at great cost to my mental health but not with fear or panic. God gave me peace in place of panic. Peace I could then share with others.
As we were forced to give up distractions, I was surprised by new things, new opportunities. I had the courage to say yes to telling Bible stories for our Sunday School via video using my art and a basic script. I have been encouraged to share my art in other ways I had never considered. My first response to these opportunities was to be hesitant. When I was asked the same question by three people about an art related possibility, I knew I need to trust God and step into this role with boldness.
I do not know what God will do with any of these things. Some of the things God has shown me this year have been huge, some small. Through it all, at various times and in various ways, I have been reminded that God is at work. He will use what I give Him in unexpected ways. Through His power and love even the small steps of courage through faith will reflect His glory.
As we step towards a second shut down, I continue to trust god will continue to work with me and through me. Where that leads I have no idea, but He does. His power will replace panic with peace, fear with faith.