Once upon a time, at a table in my kitchen, I made a deal with God:
I’ll show up if You do.
The deal came about because I sensed the Spirit inviting me (repeatedly) to homeschool my son who is on the autism spectrum. I didn’t know how to do this. Homeschooling was not in my vocabulary or life-plan, and I simply didn’t feel smart enough to pull it off.
School wasn’t really my thing. I didn’t pay very good attention way back when. All I wanted to do was music and I kind of missed out on all that math, history, science stuff. How, then, was I to teach my son?
God is famous for “inviting” people to do things outside of their comfort zone and capabilities. Have you noticed this?
Take Moses, for example, tasked with leading a massive group of people out of slavery and into freedom. Like me, feeling rather inadequate, Moses made a deal with God which sounded like this:
“Look God, you told me to do this, but if you don’t take the lead here,
I’m calling it off right now! I’m not doing this without you … however,
I’ll show up if you do.”
Exodus 33:12-17 (my paraphrase)
I told God I’d bring everything I have (which frankly was not very much) if he’d bring everything he has (which is quite a lot). Not a very fair deal to God, I know, but one by which he seems to repeatedly abide.
I seem to be in God’s math class right now (my worst subject – don’t ever trust me with numbers!). He keeps talking about less than <, greater than >, and equal to =. Here’s what I’m learning:
My < + God’s > is = the task at hand.
In case you’re like me and just shake your head at math, let me write it out:
My less-than plus God’s more-than is equal to the task at hand.
My math teachers would be so proud??! Seriously, I think this may be the only math I can understand and it’s come about only through lived experience. This moment of victory was short-lived because, true story, when my smart husband previewed this letter he pointed out I had the symbols facing in the wrong directions and patiently fixed them for me?♀️?.
God once told the Apostle Paul that his grace was sufficient for him, more than (>) enough (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Grace, in this Scripture, is defined as kindness; leaning towards to share benefit.
Andy Stanley once described kindness as “loaning someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weakness.” Sounds like my dear Dan helping me with the math in this letter?.
This is what God does. He leans in and loans. He adds his > to our < so we are = to the task and have what we need. Like a good neighbor, State-Farm (oops, I mean God!) is there.
Lean in and loan to fill up the lack: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What are you facing right now? Do you feel up to the task or do you need a loan of some kind? What do you need to borrow (from God or others) to do what is yours to do? Name what you need.
- Think of a time someone loaned something to you (including a bank loan). What did it enable you to do that you couldn’t do on your own?
- Look for an opportunity this week to lean in and loan something you have to someone who needs it, be it skill, supply, shelter, support, smarts (esp. in math!), or strength.
- Our song of the week is: Strong Enough by Matthew West
- Brave telling God that you’ll show up if he does.
When we loan something to someone, we enable them to do or experience what they otherwise could not. When given a loan, we are no longer alone (get it??). Like a good neighbor, God’s Spirit is here! What might you need to borrow from him?