Friday, November 11, 2011

When You Ask God to Use You

I'm not an evangelist. For me, words of witness come after an opportunity passes.

My husband is the bold one. Last weekend he took our older three for a visit to a homeschool friend's house. A couple neighbor girls Elizabeth invited over began talking about childish superstitions, such as if you break your necklace, you get bad luck. More disturbing, they talked about seeing a bloody Mary in a mirror. One of them insisted she skinned her knee five times after breaking her necklace.

My husband told the girls boldly that "we believe in Jesus, not in superstitions."

Later at home, we sat down with the prayer jar, adding the girls' names (for them to know Truth).

I expressed how happy I was that Daddy mentioned Jesus. God gives us opportunities such as these to share our faith, I told them.

Paul, who is shy, was nearly in tears. "I don't think I could ever say what Daddy said."

I told him Mommy is also shy and not very bold. I added another prayer in the jar, asking God to make us all bold.

Knowing evangelism wasn't natural for me, I told God more than once over the years........"Please use me. If not my evangelistic words, then my life."

On Wednesday we went to Beth's physical therapy appointment. Her therapist, who has a European accent (a low percentage of Europeans have faith), was at first a bit overwhelmed that three other children were along for the appointments. The kids behave, but still, four is a lot of little people.

From Pew Research: 
Either way, popular attitudes toward religion in Europe now stand in bold contrast to those in the United States. While 59 percent of Americans say that religion is very important in their lives, only 11 percent of the French, 21 percent of Germans, and 33 percent of Britons do, according to the Pew Research Center.  Excerpt from this article:

This time, because of Beth's flare, the therapist lovingly wrapped my daughter's knees with gauze dipped in hot, liquid paraffin wax. If Beth responded well (she did), the therapist planned to carry on the normal therapy routine that day.

Beth is a sweet girl and she particularly likes doctors (she calls Bea her therapist doctor, only she says this without the th and s sounds, if you can imagine that). Of all my children, Beth is the best candidate for a chronic pain disorder. God knew who He could use. Of course He did.

On this, our second visit, Bea was not overwhelmed by the four children. She was charmed. Peter, Paul, and Mary worked together to entertain Beth, who sat with wax gauze and towels wrapped around her knees for twenty minutes.

Beth was responsive, full of laughter and vitality and charm. Bea gave her a piece of wax to play with, and the children marveled at how fast it hardened. We talked about heat expanding molecules, like when an ice cube melts. When you take away the heat source, the molecules get closer together again. Thus, the liquid wax hardens.

Beth played with it, making many different shapes. Peter said, "That looks just like one of Mommy's tampons!" (Beth unwraps and plays with them occasionally, so they all know what they look like.)

Yes he did, folks. 

Driving home from the appointment and reflecting on Bea being charmed by the children--especially by sweet Beth--I marveled at how God uses us. I'm not an evangelist, but I am a Momma. I am discipling these children, keeping them from the world's stain, so they'll be set apart for God. And this, not of my self. Through Him, working in spite of me, not because of me.

With their simple faith, children speak volumes about God.

Along with her siblings, Beth will shine a light-giving faith, to her caregivers, throughout the course of this disease. God will use her condition to change hearts. To soften them. To cause them to reflect....what makes these particular children so happy? Why do they seem different?

It doesn't matter that we are imperfect, stained. He seems to orchestrate that their sweetest moments, always come at doctors' offices.

Now I know why. (Our regular doctor is from India, and he sees Peter regularly, because of ADHD, OCD and the tic disorder, Tourette's.)

Paul is healthy, but sees an ENT every few months to have ear wax removed. All these conditions and appointments? Not an accident. I'm sure of this now.

When I prayed....God, use me....I didn't expect it to take this form. A form that involves pain for my child, sleepless nights for both of us, and a young body full of anti-inflammatory medication.....not to mention another child with serious issues.

But today, I am prepared to say...thank you, God. Thank you for using us.

What a privilege.

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