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  • Writer's pictureKerry Sue Teravskis

EQUIPPING

(Our Lord Jesus) will equip you with every good thing 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. Amen. Hebrews 13:21 (NIV)


A woman related a story of conquering fears – the many fears which held her firmly in its grip. Fear she had grappled with her whole life, which essentially she had inherited from her parents. By her own admission she was of afraid of everything and tired of running. She decided it was time to stop.



She began by doing the very things she was afraid of: flying in an helicopter, swimming with sharks, (honestly, those would be my fears too, but don't most people have them?), dancing alone in a crowd, and the like. She then shared about her experience jumping off a cliff into a small pool of the ocean.


Most of us have seen the high divers who take a plunge from steep cliffs - fifty, one hundred feet from the ocean. It may look easy on film, but in real life, that is steep. This gal told how she was terrified and was shaking nervously and edged closer by inches to the ledge. She peered over and couldn’t do it.


It was at a park of some sort and the attendant at the ledge was getting impatient and wanted her to jump or move. Even little children were zooming past her and jumping off and in. One little girl, however, was getting cold feet like she had. The two commiserated. They planned and plotted their move – they were going to turn around.


But, then, without a second’s warning, the little girl jumped in, leaving this gal stranded with her fears. It was then she realized she could jump if the little girl did. So she did. Was it exhilarating? No. But she did it.


While our walk with Jesus may not resemble high diving, commonalities exist. Especially when it involves something new. Teaching a group. Praying out loud. Welcoming newcomers to church. Singing a solo. Starting a new ministry. Reaching out to strangers with the gospel. Suffering. Anything and everything.


But, what does the author of Hebrews tell us? Jesus will equip us with every good thing for doing His will. We need not fear. If we do not have the skill yet, we will. If we know little, He will give us the knowledge. If we are unsure, we can look at the situation as an opportunity to grow our faith.


For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7


By operating in fear, we cannot walk in the will of God. Because He gives us what we need to do His will, we need not fear. We can face the challenges and unknowns because we have what we need directly from God to face them. We can pray for clarity, wisdom and understanding so the fear does not unravel us. We can memorize Scripture and use these verses as our prayers to God when the uncertainty and fear begins to creep in - which it undoubtedly will as the enemy doesn't give up without a fight.


God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breath of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 1 Kings 4:29 (NIV)


King Solomon was known for his wisdom, and he prayed for this wisdom from the Lord. Let us ask, seek and knock on the door to Jesus and we will find Him and He will pour Himself into us to do the will of the Father. (Matthew 7:7-8)



As I was writing this it occurred to me how much suffering has changed me and how different I was before the suffering. I didn't know what to do before other than manage symptoms, cry and try to live what used to be my normal life. It was frustrating and I felt purpose-less. I was coping not thriving.


Pretty typical for anyone in the beginning stages of something new, let alone it being suffering and affliction. However, once I moved past the shock and into reality, I was able to seek God in a new way. Asking for healing, of course, but for purpose, understanding, asking the WHY, the WHEN and the HOW. It's okay to ask God, because as Jesus stated, we can ask (see Matthew 7:7-8).


The answers were not always to my liking, nor are they still (at times) as I am continuing in the suffering, but there is more clarity. More refinement in my prayers, more holding onto Jesus than ever before.


One could do a perusal of my posts for the last years to see this progression. It is bumpy, choppy and did get sideways - but overall, my heart is finally settled into trusting God's good gifts which include suffering, the unknowns to me but not to Him as well as leaving questions unanswered.


It's called faith, and it is impossible to please Him without it. (Hebrews 11:6)


This also dips into answering the age-old questions of: “How do I know what God’s will is?” "Is suffering part of God's will?" "With God being good, can this circumstance or opportunity be considered good, even if I do not deem it so?"


God will pour out good things into us so we can do His will. He will give us the grace to live life to the fullest, do what He has for us with grace, peace and mercy. And He will walk with us every step we take. We are not alone.



Start watching for signs of this outpouring - of God's good gifts. You may begin to see endurance you never thought you had. Or patience to undertake yet another procedure, another month in the quiet of your room, another level of intimacy brought about because of the suffering.


Or maybe it could be a skill you picked up in college but now is needed for a new ministry at church. It could be your love for cooking which transforms Wednesday night dinners at church. Or it could be your love for games making you a natural for visiting shut-ins.


God’s will is not limited to our belief system nor our skill set. And there is no room for fear in His will. We like to excuse our fears because in our heads they seem rational. But to God, an excuse is still an excuse.


With suffering we may not have a choice, per se (like we would in a ministry opportunity). It could be thrust upon us with no door number 3 option. But we do have a choice in how we operate in this suffering. Our attitude, our trust, our belief.



Yet, when God calls, we move. Simple as that. How do we know He calls? Each time can be a little different, but the foundation is the same. Serving God will honor and glorify His Name. Anything short of that usually slips into our wants and desires and will fall flat or gratify the flesh.


But that which is from God will bring peace, promote a closer dependence upon Him, faith-stretching, and gifts being poured out in to you. He is not only equipping for the immediate, but for the future.


Ready?


PRAYER


Father God, thank You for equipping me to do Your will. I am truly open to what You have for me because I want to honor and glorify Your name in all I do – even if it is new to me. I choose You, not fear. I choose to follow, even if I cannot see the path because I trust You. I am here. Send me. In the Name of Your Son, Jesus. AMEN

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