In the old war movies, there almost always comes a scene where the soldiers are waiting in a briefing room for the General to appear to give them the details of the upcoming mission. The soldiers are interacting in a light-hearted, jovial manner, yet still alert and listening for the sound that will silence the room – “Attention!” At once, they scatter to stand at attention as the General enters and heads straight for the front of the room. After commanding them to be at ease, they sit ready and anxious to receive their assignments.
Now in the old movies, the men are always eager and ready to go and rush out of the room with pride and confidence. In the newer movies, sometimes they will let you see that while our soldiers are eager to serve their country, they are human and subject to the same fears and doubts as anyone. Then our attention is brought back to the General who gives the pep talk of the century. “Now, I understand that this can seem like we are facing a hopeless situation. Some of you may be thinking that you won’t be coming back alive, but I’m telling you to put that out of your mind. You’ve been trained. You have the skills and know how to use them. You have the support of the people in this room and you have my word as your commander that we will succeed.”
Why do I tell you this? In many ways, I feel like I am in that room waiting for the assignment to be given. God has used the events of my life not only to bring me to him, but to prepare me. He has put in me the drive to overcome incredible obstacles and in the process has formed in me a heart of mercy that has been so thoroughly broken that it only continues to beat in my Savior’s hands. My experience makes it possible for me to empathize with almost every kind of pain a person can face and God’s grace has made me a lantern of hope for those lost in the fog of that pain. I am eager to learn where God would have me use the gifts he has given me and sometimes that eagerness turns to impatience. I am convinced that every time God uses my past, my experience, to reach out to those in pain with his love and mercy, he is restoring the years the locust have taken. The enemy may have tried to irreparably break me in those years of abuse and loss, but God is redeeming those years, using them for his ultimate glory and I’m anxious to get started. However, I know that whatever and wherever God is guiding me to, it will be done only in his timing – not mine. So I need to pray for patience and be alert while I continue what I’m doing until he calls me to attention.
What has God prepared you for? And are you listening for the call? About the pictures: North Park Blind Trail (May 2010)