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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Willingness That Shines

I didn’t want to teach on my own. I knew that a local church needed more ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers, but I hesitated to volunteer. Couldn’t I just be someone’s assistant teacher like I had been already? I dreaded the amount of preparation that would need to be done every week, and I also wondered whether I could handle a class by myself. I soon found out.

As soon as my mom and I entered that church the next week, the ESL director asked if one of us could substitute teach in a class. One of the regular teachers couldn’t come that night because of her health, and she would not be able to teach for a few weeks or months. I looked at Mom and told her that she could take it. But she replied that I could. I started to hesitate again, but then I spoke up and volunteered. It was only for a little while, right?

A few weeks turned into a whole school year. The first night that I walked into that long, skinny classroom, they charmed me. Seven adult students had been waiting for someone to lead their class, and their eager faces greeted me as I stood at the front of the room. They opened their textbooks, and my heart opened up with love and compassion for them. They were willing to listen and learn, and I became willing to teach.

When we know that God wants us to do something, how often do we respond with a willing heart? Do we tend to look at the hindrances to doing His will, or do we possess a willingness that shines with faith in God and with compassion for people?

In Luke Chapter 1, we find a young woman whose heart shone with willingness to do God’s will. Mary said yes to God’s plan even though no human means could make that plan possible. She, a virgin, would give birth to “the Son of the Highest” Luke 1:32 (NKJV). Mary said yes to God even though she would become the object of gossip and ridicule. Who would believe that an angel had appeared to her with this promise, and that she would be with Child without ever having been with a man? 

When Mary asked how these things would happen, Gabriel reassured her with a promise that is meant for each of us to remember:

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37 (NKJV)

God is with us in every assignment that He gives us. He knows what needs to be done and how, and He has the power to make it happen. Mary counted on God’s power and presence to be with her in this incredible assignment, and we can count on God today to do the work He has called us to do. He is with us every single moment, and we can depend on His mighty power to be at work in us and through us. We have “Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV) 

The next time we have an opportunity to do something for God, let's not forget Mary’s willingness. She said yes to the God she loved and to a plan that would help so, so many people. Let God’s love and compassion stir our hearts to say yes to His plan and to cultivate a willingness that shines. 

Copyright © 2019 Katy Kauffman, used with permission.

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