In our Discovering the Bible series, my co-authors (Jean and Karla) and myself, try to…
I am so excited for you to hear from my friend, Sharon Jaynes. She is a “Brave New Woman” who, like me, likes to say “Yes!” to God because life just keeps getting better when you do! Enjoy Sharon’s wisdom, and her new book for women: Sudden Glory!
Sometimes I look at my life today and wonder how in the world I got to this place of ministry. And then I realize that much of the reason I am here is because I chose to trust God’s leading, even when, especially when, it didn’t make any earthly sense at all. Then I wonder about all the missed opportunities because I didn’t.
Many years ago, I had a ministry opportunity that seemed way beyond my ability…it was. I wasn’t qualified. I wasn’t trained. I didn’t have a theology degree. I only took one English class in college—the one required to graduate.
Did you notice how many of those sentences in that last paragraph started with the word “I?” I certainly did. Just as surely as Paul filled Romans 7 with more “I’s” than any good writer should, I filled my mind with personal pronouns that shined the spotlight on my own insecurities and inadequacies, rather than God’s sufficiency.
For one year I had been praying that God would show me what my next phase of life was to look like. I was a wife, a mother, a dental hygienist, a Bible study teacher, a crisis pregnancy counselor, and a volunteer for a host of worthy causes. But my soul was restless.
I had written a few Bible studies for my home church, a couple of articles for various magazines, and scribbled a file folder full of personal stories with spiritual applications. “God, do you want me to do something with all this writing?” I asked. Then I waited. And I waited. And I waited.
One year after my initial prayer about this nudging in a new direction, I met a gal named Lysa who asked me to join her in a new ministry to encourage and equip wives and mothers through writing, radio and conference speaking. While I didn’t feel qualified, I did agree to pray about it.
A few weeks later, Steve and I got up on Sunday morning, and the restlessness continued to play over my spirit like a fiddle. “Steve, let’s go to a different church this morning. Just for fun. Let’s go over that that big church that has the choir that sounds like the Brooklyn Tabernacle. I could really use some cutting-loose praise and worship today.”
“Sounds good to me,” Steve replied.
So off we went to a church that was not our own. When we arrived, we discovered a visiting preacher who was not their own, slated to teach that day. After thirty minutes of incredible worship, the visiting pastor approached the podium. “Well, I had a sermon all prepared, but God has just changed it. Forget what’s printed in your bulletin. I’m going to preach from John chapter 2 today.”
So off he went down a road that God had paved. The pastor painted a picture of Jesus at the wedding of Cana with his mother and a few of his best friends. Leave it to Mary, Jesus’ mother, to notice the party details. The wine was just about to run out and it was only day three of the seven-day celebration.
“Jesus,” she whispered, “they are running out of wine.”
“What’s that to me?” he replied.
With a twinkle in her eye, Mary turned to the wine stewards and said, “Whatever he says do, do it.”
God had written those words on the heart of this man standing behind the podium, sealed them in an envelope of the sermon, and express mailed them to me. Fifth row, second seat. My name was on the envelope just as sure as if the pastor had called out my name. The postmark was clear. It was a sudden glory – a moment when God made His presence known.
Yes, God had been stirring the pot of my life’s soup. And now it was time to serve it up. But would I take His hand and join Him on the dance floor, or sit this one out because of fear?
I had to make a move. I had to decide. I had to choose to obey or not. Even though what I felt He was asking me to do made absolutely no sense at all, I had a choice. “Whatever He says do, do it.”
In order to be a Brave New Woman, you will always have a choice. But I can tell you, 17 books later, when you say “yes” to God, your life will be filled with moments of Sudden Glory when God makes His presence known to you at every turn.
Sharon Jaynes is an international conference speaker and the author of 17 books,including her newest release, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. To learn more, visit www.sharonjaynes.com.