Some of you know that when I go to the beach, I get to be really be quiet before the Lord for extended time to hear from Him. He always seems to use the beach to speak. I love that because the beach is my favorite place other than home! So, this year He gave me 3 specific lessons.
1. Do not let waves, wind, or fear keep you on shore.
We purchased a blow up Kayak and had to paddle hard to get past the waves at the shore to get out to the smoother water. If I hadn’t kept paddling, I’d never have gotten there. I rowed close to another woman on a raft, and she told me about a man-made reef further out that was well worth rowing out to. I looked at the horizon, and it seemed a long way from where I was. I had not purchased a life jacket so I was a bit afraid to row out. I am a good swimmer and she said it was easy, so I began rowing toward the area where the reef was. When I finally found it, I was so glad I’d made the effort and didn’t let the fear of no life jacket keep me close to shore.
I believe God longs to drive us out deeper into places we’ve never been to experience Him on a deeper level. As leaders, He will continually push us past our comfort zone to depend on His abilities! Fear of change or difficulty may keep us on shore and never finding those deeper places with Him. Choose to allow Him to take you deeper all the while keeping your eyes on Jesus as Peter did at first (Matthew 14:28-33).
2. Remember God uses the broken to serve Him.
I love collecting shells and sometimes spend hours walking and looking for the next treasure. But as I do, I tend to throw back the normal, small, or broken ones in hopes of finding a big, whole shell.
As I did that this year, I was reminded that God never throws back the small, broken, or ordinary person. In fact, those are the very people He uses as they choose to follow Him. These are the ones you may be seeking to lead and disciple. Remember that the quiet or fringe or broken woman is just as useful to the work of the Kingdom as the confident and able woman. Watch for the unlikely to connect with, get to know her story, and then find a way to connect her with others. Then watch for places God might have her tell her story or use her abilities to serve Him (John 8:3-11).
3. Sometimes God will call you to get into the boat alone.
When we first got the kayak and got out on the water, my husband and I were both in this 2 person boat trying to row. We kept hitting each other with the oars and didn’t seem to be able to row in a straight line! We went back to shore exhausted. Later, the water called me back out, and I decided I’d see if I was able to row it alone. I got in the kayak, paddled past the waves at the shore, and then went full blast ahead on smooth water. I couldn’t believe how easy it was!
What God said to me was that sometimes He wants us to go alone with Him in the boat alone. We will have to walk away from others who are going the wrong direction. That will not be easy, but leaders are often called to stand alone in what God has said. Sometimes we will not only be deserted, we may even be persecuted for standing on truth (Colossians 2:8; John 15:18-19). But it will be worth it to hold fast to truth and lead others do to the same.
We are called to walk by the Spirit not by flesh. That turns some away. But walking in the Spirit leads to the fruit of the spirit and that is how we reflect Christ in a world that desperately needs Him—even if they don’t know it yet!
What is God teaching you through your daily walk with Him? Ask God to show you lessons as you go about your day and especially when you take time to rest and spend extended time with the Lord. Ask God to show you His truth as you reflect, and I promise He will be faithful if you are listening. As busy leaders, we MUST make time to listen!