Standing at an Open Door
I think back on the first day of the first Abide Retreat I led. Why me? How am I qualified? How will I relate? What if they reject me? After all, I’m not “one of them.”
Abide Retreats are for military and first responder wives and women. I am neither of those. I am a pastor’s daughter. I grew up in one town all my life and only moved when I took a full-time ministry position five hours from home, just shy of 20 years old. In all actuality, I am quite the opposite of these ladies. They move every couple of years, sell their homes, purchase or rent new homes, settle their children in new schools with new friends, find new doctors...and the list goes on.
I think of Moses and all the excuses he gave to God when He was calling him to lead the children of Israel to the promised land. He said things like these. “But suppose they will not believe me?” “I am not eloquent.” “Please send someone else!” I hear ya, Moses! I hear ya!
Here’s the point. If we believe we have a good Father and He is loving and kind, filled with grace and mercy and loves us with a love that goes beyond our understanding, then we can trust Him! All we have to do is take a step. As we are standing there, staring at the door He has opened right in front of us…the ministry opportunity to that group we don’t relate to…the memories flooding our mind of how we failed in the past…we can take the first step forward with confidence in Him. He will never ask us to do something and not equip us as we obey and honor Him. NEVER!
All we have to do is take a step.
When I was about six years old, we lived in a mobile home. There was a door on the very end that had no stairs on the outside. If you opened it from the inside and stepped out, you’d fall six feet to the ground. My dad was working outside that door, building a patio and staircase to remedy that problem. It was a nice day so he propped the door open. I would run down the long hallway of the trailer and get to the door and yell for my dad to catch me. He would stop his work, turn around and I would jump. He’d catch me, set me down and continue working. This happened over and over. (As I type this, I’m realizing that I really need to call him and thank him for his patience with me. Wow!) One particular time, I took off running and simply decided to jump out of the door without warning my dad. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw me and was barely able to drop his tools and turn just in time to grab me and cradle me as we both fell to the ground. Whew!
Why am I sharing this story? Many times in life, we jump before we take a moment to make sure it’s OK with our Father. In His great grace and mercy, He will grab us and cradle us as we hit bottom. I’m so thankful for the times He has done this for me! But how much better would it be if before we decided to jump through every door that appeared to be open, we paused, stood at that doorway, and said, “Father, is now good? Is the timing right? Is this what you want me to do?” As He turns His face toward us, He equips us with boldness, wisdom for the task, knowledge and understanding for what He has called us to do. All the while, catching us when we jump!
So go ahead! If you know that God has put an open door of ministry opportunity in front of you and you feel He is asking you to do something you feel unqualified to do, let me encourage you today to take the first step.
As I recall the first day of the first Abide Retreat, I wonder what would have happened if I had let my insecurity and uncertainty stop me from obeying. I can see the faces of the ladies who have been changed, challenged, and have come to know Jesus Christ through Abide and my heart rejoices. Sure, God could have used someone else if I had disobeyed. But then I wouldn’t have the joy of being used by God to transform the lives of women who have attended. I wouldn’t have experienced seeing the great victories in the hearts of these ladies. With every awkward moment, uncertainty about the class material, feelings of doubt and worry, it was worth it!
Don’t let someone else reap the joy of ministry that could have been yours! Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey!
Kathy Wampler grew up in a pastor’s home and loved every minute being a PK. "All the good times and bad. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve watched my parents stand firm through struggles, up’s and down’s, victories, mountain-top experiences and journeys through the desert."
Kathy's highest honor has been the opportunity to work with the Dave Roever Evangelistic Association. Through this ministry she co-founded Abide Retreats, which are Bible-based, three-day retreats for military wives, first responder wives, and female service members/first responders. Learn more here.
She and her husband Dave have been married for 28 years and serve together at Dave Roever Evangelistic Association, as well as travel in preaching and music ministry.