Growing up without a father has not been easy. The holiday seasons have been tough for me as long as I can remember, especially Christmas and of course Father’s Day. I lost my dad to cancer when I was only 18-months-old, so I am unable to remember anything about him. All I have to hold onto is other people’s memories and pictures, and my own imagination.
Last Christmas, I found my heart aching more than ever, and I just wanted to learn more about the kind of man my dad was. My mamaw (my dad’s mom), has always been the best person to talk to when I want to know something about my dad. Over Christmas break we spent a whole day together going through tons of old pictures and I enjoyed hearing her share stories about him. In the majority of our home movies, my dad was the one behind the camera so I haven’t really ever been able to see much of him and his personality.
That was until the day my mamaw found a video of him sharing his testimony at church. The Lord healed my dad from his cancer before I was born, but later it came back. When he was first diagnosed he was given six months to live, but ended up living about five more years. During those five years my brother and I were born and I remember people calling us “miracle children.” In the video, my dad was sharing his heart and all of the great things God had done for him. Many have said that my dad was more of a shy person until he got cancer and was healed. After he was healed, they say he became a “witnessing machine” and wanted to tell everyone he ran into about God. I was able to see part of my dad’s humor in the video when he jokingly said, “People thought this brain tumor was horrible, and in many ways it was, but it was also the best thing to happen because it has completely changed my walk with God, I think everyone should get a brain tumor.”
During his testimony, my dad kept asking, “What are you waiting for?” Those words have been engraved in my heart ever since I watched that video, and it’s amazing how he is impacting and helping me even though he is not here on earth.
“Whoever watches the wind will not plant, whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” -Ecclesiastes 11:4
If we are not careful, we can get pretty good at making excuses. I think so many of us say that we will do this or that after we graduate or when we get that dream job then we’ll do it, or when I get married then I will make time and ________ (fill in the blank). I have found that sometimes it’s not until something tragic happens in our lives that we really “wake up” and realize how much time we are wasting. I am guilty of spending so much time worrying about the future and planning my own life out when I am simply just wasting my time because the truth is, we are not even guaranteed tomorrow.
Has the Lord placed a desire in your heart but you have been holding back because you feel now is not the right time? Or maybe you feel as though you are not qualified or equipped to do what He has called you to do because you spend so much time comparing yourself to others and what they are doing.
But, dear sister, comparison is the thief of joy and it will keep you from doing what the Lord has called you to do. Besides, God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
This past October, my church went on a mission trip to Guatemala. I had a desire to go on the mission trip as soon as I heard about it, but I began to talk myself out of it. I was beginning my senior year of college, interning, and working, so leaving for a week during this busy season of life was not the best decision. However, the more I prayed about the trip, the more I felt led to go. I remember making excuses and saying “Lord, there’s no way I could raise the money in time” and “there’s no way I could get all of my school work completed.”
It was the week that the majority of our payment for the trip was due and I was nowhere near my goal amount. After I was just about to give up on the trip I received a phone call saying someone had anonymously paid for my trip in full. I was shocked and at a loss for words, and didn’t really know what to do but just cry and think about how good God is. He always takes cares of us, and proves Himself time and time again.
“Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” -John 4:35-38
As my pastor has said before, if we wait until the conditions are favorable we will miss our opportunity. We can’t wait to do what God has called us to do because the conditions may never be favorable. We also can’t just sit back and watch as others do the work for us. The perfect moment may never come, and if you are waiting for it then you may be waiting for a while.
Some of the best moments of my life have happened during unfavorable conditions. If we want to live an effective life and make a difference, we cannot look at the world and our circumstances, we must look to Christ. My dad could have allowed his cancer to affect him negatively and completely given up on God, but instead he chose to continue to serve Him despite of the circumstances. It was then that he impacted so many lives and others came to know Christ through him.
So what exactly are you waiting for? My prayer is that you are able to stop with the excuses and trust that you can accomplish what God has called you to do today. He has called us to make a difference now.