Sunday, January 10, 2010

Call for service!

It was a Wednesday night on a September day in the year 2004. I was headed to teach a classroom full of ladies and was scared to death to do it. I'd done it before, and I'd do it again, but each time I go I go with trembling legs and hands that are shaking. Literally! Everytime I go! (I've been doing it for how many years now??? And yes, I still tremble in the going.) The only way that I find that I am ever able to go at all is because there is no doubt in my heart nor my mind that God is the One that has called me and sent me. And I know God well enough to know that with the call He is faithful to equip you in His sending.

Words seem poor replicas of my feelings and the emotion that lies there after all that God has done. The Lord, indeed, has shown that He was there by showing off His Glory. I've seen the reflection of His face on the faces of those I was teaching. I've seen the Holy Spirit's resonating with their spirits inside them. It's been so evident. It's been so obvious. God has not just spoken in a whisper, He's show-up out loud and blown our feeble minds countless times... over and over again.

I have often left the classroom after teaching, hardly being able to wait to get into my vehicle, hurrying to be alone with Him.... so awed by the whoa of His wonder that in my feeble attempt to pray I've cried buckets of tears instead before Him unable to whisper even one vocalized word. I am so amazed that He can take a person like me and speak His Word to another in such a way that they themselves have no doubt Who it is that is speaking. How He is able and why He chooses to remains quiet the mystery to me. But I've never ceased to be amazed by it.

Back to our moment in September in the particular year that I mentioned, and to the lesson He taught me on that particular night even before I'd ever made into to the classroom.

Like I said, I went with fear and trembling yet "taking courage in the Lord," because I knew that with His power and His might that He could accomplish what I would never be able to do by myself. I arrived early to make copies of all that I needed copying. Early, but not too early. I went into the teacher's workroom and found these words displayed on the copier, "Call for Service."

"Call for Service," I thought????

"Call for Service"???

What did it mean to call for service? I didn't have time for service. I needed my copies now!

I pressed a thousand buttons. Opened and shut all the drawers and doors that I could find. And did all that I could think of to do. It still told me to "Call for Service."

I went to the church office to use their copier there. The doors were locked. So I scrambled around until I found someone ranked high enough to hold a key, got them to unlock the door, and went to copy. But on their copier, too, it read: "Call for Service!" And it even had the exclamation mark attached to its message.

This one too? You've got to be kidding? What in the world? And why now?

Talk about frustration and panic! I found Nathan in the office and interrupted his phone call to ask him about it. He said, "It worked just a few minutes ago. I just used it." Well fine, but it's not working now.

Not being able to turn from the distraught look on my face he ended his call with an "I'll call you back," and came to help this damsel in her distress. But he wasn't able to help me. He wasn't able to fix it. I asked him if he minded if I tried to get it to work? I think that he did, but I did it anyway. Again I pressed all of the buttons that I could find to press. I checked what might be jammed. Turned the computer off and then back on again. Still the message lit up its panel, "Call for Service!" But I didn't have time to!

I checked the clock. I didn't have enough time left to return home and hope that my printer would print at the speeds that I needed to print all that I needed printed.

I went back to the teacher's workshop hoping that things on that screen had changed.

It hadn't!

Again, I pressed here and pressed there. I opened and shut this. And opened and shut that. I turned the printer off and back on again. It took a semi-lifetime for it's "warming up" processing... at which time I said to God, "Father, make this copier copy. You are the Creator. That's what it was created for! That's what it was created and made to do! That is its purpose! That is why it was made in the....."

And before I could even finish my thoughts in my praying, while it was still in its "warming" mode, I KNEW! I KNEW even before its message had time to display again... I KNEW that it would work this time! I knew it! I knew... BECAUSE I had received my message! I got the point! I understood. The message in its red-lettered neon lighting was for me! And I knew it! With all of my heart, I knew it!

God was telling me that as scared and as nervous as I was about teaching these women, that this is what He created me for. This is what He'd made me to do. This is who He'd made me to be. My teaching would work - because I was wired for this purpose. I needed only to plug myself into HIS Spirit's power - use the Words that had already been written - teach the Words that He had given to me - and "Call for Service" from the Maker Who made it and then it (I) would do what it (I) was created for to do. And its Message can get out to as many people as I give it to - with His prompting and His resonating within them. His Words passed out again inside their hearts (as if on copied paper) to then carry and to go pass out to others.

Needless to say, the copier did work fine this time and all of my copies were copied. And I'll tell you this, I only THOUGHT that I was trembling before! My thighs turned to Jell-O from that very moment and would NOT quit their quivering! I said to the girl that happened to be in there in that workroom with me, "Oh my! The copier wouldn't work, because I needed to get a message. God had need to say something to me and He decided to voice His lesson in a visual."

I said it with wide-eyes and I'm sure ghostly-like from the blood rushing from my face to my feet. I know she thought that I was crazy. I'm sure she feared for my ladies. But there was no way that I could miss it. I knew my Lord, and He knew my fear, and He needed to remind me though I didn't feel like a teacher that He had made me one! And with His power within me, I would be able to teach.

I went into my classroom, stunned beyond measure; my hands never stopped shaking all through the night and the lesson. I overheard different ladies talking about it later, they had noticed them shaking. I must admit that I was fearful, but this time I had a healthy fear, I was full of the fear of the Lord. Not because I was scared about what I was doing, but because of the awe of knowing that my God had just stopped and spoken to me. It's such an overwhelming feeling.. one that's hard to stand up under... He'd given me a word that I needed hearing.

What is it that God has created you for? What's you purpose? And might you feel inadequate? My prayer for each of you that read this (and me!) (and one that you might want to pray too) is:

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the glorious Father, may give you the Spiri of wisdom and revelation,
so that you may know Him better.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you,
the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,
and His incomparably great power for us who believe."
(Ephesians 1:17-22)

"May the God of peace,
Who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great Shepherd of the sheep,
equip you with everything good for doing His will,
and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him,
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory for ever and ever.
(Hebrews 13:20-21)

We must never forget, too, that we ALL make up the Body. Each and every part is needed. Not one is more or less important than the other. And we're all to help each other grow.

"It was He who gave some to be apostles,
some to be prophets,
some to be evangelists,
and some to be pastors
and teachers,
to prepare God's people for works of service,
so that the body of Christ may be built up
until we all reach
unity in the faith
and in the knowledge of the Son of God
and become mature,
attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants,
tossed back and forth by the waves,
and blown here and there by every wind of teaching
and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Instead, speaking the truth in love,
we will
in all things
grow up into Him Who is the Head, that is, Christ.
From Him the whole body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
(Ephesians 4)

We are each "called for service" and we are to "call for service." God calls us for the purpose He's made us. And we're to call to Him to empower and enable us. Ah, there's so much to say... but I suppose for now that that's enough said...........................

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