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Yesterday would have been my sister’s birthday.  I was thinking about her, which led to thinking about my brother-in-law, so I made a phone call.  He wasn’t home.  So I started to leave a message.  All I got out of my mouth were a few words when with a clap of lightning and a boom of thunder, the power went out.  There I was, phone in my hand, disconnected from the power to be able to speak the words on my heart.  I shrugged, put the phone down and went on with my day.

Later that evening my brother-in-law called demanding to know what I thought I was doing by leaving a two word message.  We talked and joked for a while about the power of God, spoke of what was on our heart and then engaged in a thrilling discussion about my grandsons, whom we had both visited recently.

This morning I found myself reflecting on the state of powerlessness.  When the power went out I really had no choice but to give up on the call, after all what was I going to do, open the door and shout, “HI, IT’S ENA, JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU TODAY.”  Like that would have been an effective way to communicate with someone from halfway across the country. (And I couldn’t use smoke signals it was pouring rain.)

Last night I was reading the book You’re already amazing, by Holly Gerth.  She was reflecting upon the ways in which we drain ourselves of energy, and cut ourselves off from the source of our power,  by doing too many things.  She writes:

I explore, tentatively, how I feel God is calling me to a new season–of living entirely differently than before.  … I question, “God, don’t you want me to be busy all the time?  Don’t you want me to push myself to the limit for you and others?… And isn’t that what it means to love?”  It seems my heart hears a whisper in response, “Daughter, I did not come to give you a full life.  I came to give you life to the full.”  And suddenly everything changes.

She continues throughout that chapter to explore the way to have power in our lives and ministry.  We have that power when we do what it is that God has called us to do, and (this is big) only what God has called us to do.  She talks about the importance of discerning and using the strengths and skills that God has developed in us to minister with the people he has called us to serve.  

I  am at a point of transition in my life.  During this time, it is very important to me that I listen to God, and discern correctly what it is that he is calling me to next.  To be able to hear this correctly I need to be connected to the power of God.  I need to be immersed in God’s word.  I need to be consistent in prayer.  I need to spend enough time with God that I know when it is his voice that I hear whispering.

If I go off on my own strength, choosing a path because I think it is something that I will like, without giving any consideration to what God is calling me to, then I might as well be trying to communicate across the country without a telephone.  The only thing I’ll get from that is strained vocal chords, and a whole boatload of stress.  What matters in my life right now is

thinking and praying more intentionally about how God wants [me] to express love through [my] life.

This is not just a message about me, it is a truth for all of us.  Each one of us was gifted by the Holy Spirit, with gifts that are uniquely meant for us.  Then, each one of us is called to use those gifts to reach out in love through our lives.  When we relax and allow God to lead us then, we will be walking, loving, ministering, and living in the power of God.  We will be connected to the power of God.

Just contemplating that makes me sigh in contentment.  All I have to do is to give my life over to the power of God, and use  what he has given me to minister in what he has called me and my life will be filled with his power. May it be so.  Amen.