“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
My husband’s love language is gifts. He loves to receive them, but what he enjoys the most is surprising those he loves with special gifts he knows they would never purchase for themselves. Because of my husband’s heart to shower gifts on those he loves and my heart to make others feel valued and loved, we have made birthdays a big deal at our house! The birthday person gets to pick their favorite dinner, favorite cake, and make a wish list with all of their heart’s desires. For the last five years, my birthday on June 14th has fallen in the midst of our family vacation to the beach. I have repeatedly told my girls and my husband that our time together is the best gift I could possibly receive. Now that we have married adult children and young adult children who must all juggle time off to make beach time happen, time as a whole family is precious to me. In spite of my words and lack of a birthday wish list, my girls continue to surprise me with thoughtful gifts, and my husband blesses me each year with something extravagant. He chooses something he has spent a great deal of time planning so he can lavish love on me on my special day.
This year his gift actually took my breath away, but not for the reason you may think. This year my husband rented a “Cozy Cabin” just for the two of us near Lake Lure, NC. I was excited about a weekend away just for us! Then I opened the rest of my card to find out why he had decided on Lake Lure. He had actually rented the cabin so I could participate in the Dare to Tri Sprint triathlon. Lake Lure is set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and each August the community of Lake Lure hosts a weekend of events. The challenge to this event is that both the bike and the run are completed on steep, mountainous roadways. I had mentioned wanting to one day participate in this tri to my husband, but I had no idea my husband would decide this year would be my time to do it! The gift was purchased. He had rented the cabin and registered me for the race. My initial reaction was excitement and then fear began to creep into my thoughts. I felt unprepared to compete. I had not trained for such conditions. I began to voice my doubts until I heard my husband say, “I know you can do it, and I will be there as your support and coach.” It was then I realized he registered me for the race because he had complete confidence in me. After 32 years of marriage he knows my heart to give it all I have out on the course; he knows my potential. His words helped me catch my breath and regain my composure. A spark of confidence began to form as I thought I really could finish the race, especially with my husband there as my support team.
Race day arrived and even though we had very little sleep due to the loss of electricity in the surrounding area, my husband continued to speak words of confidence to me. His final support and coaching were delivered in a prayer for me to do my very best and to have fun! I received his prayer over me and said my own silent prayer, asking God to give me the strength to finish my event to the best of my ability and to honor Him in the process.
As I meditated on this story in my life, I realized it is quite similar to how we often react to God when He asks us to do something He clearly planned for us to do. Often our first reaction is fear, uncertain of our ability to accomplish whatever God is asking of us. It is in this moment we must remember our confidence comes from three very important promises — promises God speaks to us in His word and that He wants us to stand on.
#1: He who began a good work in us will continue the process through the things He asks us to do. He uses each event to continue the work in our hearts to trust in Him more and not doubt.
#2: Our confidence is in who He is in us. He promises that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.
#3: Finally, God knows our potential. We were each fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose, one which He wants us to fulfill with His Holy Spirit within us. The promise that through Jesus, God will give us an advocate who will help us and never leave us. Jesus is our forever support team and life coach. He is our source of wisdom and strength to accomplish whatever God asks of us.
Seventeen years ago, just two weeks before 9/11, in my quiet time with God, I felt His leading to write a book to encourage military spouses in the call on their lives to support their men of valor and families. In fear of failure, I questioned what I felt God was asking of me. In my moment of doubt I decided God really meant for me to journal. So instead of pursuing the writing of a book I spent the next five years journaling. Eventually, God asked me again to write a book. This time I had the ears to hear and in humility and much prayer, I began the process to complete the project He had given me to do. I learned the very lesson I am sharing with you: I could do nothing on my own because my abilities and confidence can only be in Him.
So Dear Reader, what is God asking of you that you have yet to accomplish because of a spirit of doubt? What desire do you have in your heart, that you have not attempted to fulfill for lack of confidence?
Today is the day to accept the mission and step out in faith to accomplish it. Faith is believing God has confidence in you and He knows your potential as you focus and rely totally on Him.