Let­ting Go Of Anonymity, Lis­ten­ing, Trust­ing, Fol­low­ing God

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - CHURCH - Jodi Hen­dricks JODI HEN­DRICKS IS A LONG­TIME MEM­BER OF FARM­ING­TON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. SHE TEACHES ADULT AND YOUTH BI­BLE CLASSES.

About four years ago I started a group on Face­book to chal­lenge my friends to spend more time with God each day. It started off with just a daily verse, some­thing for them to pon­der and draw them closer to God. Af­ter about a year, I started writ­ing lit­tle blurbs on what that day’s verse meant to me which then led to full de­vo­tions af­ter about three months. That was three years ago and since then I have at­tempted to pro­vide a new verse each day, al­ter­nat­ing the Old Tes­ta­ment and the New Tes­ta­ment.

My de­vo­tions were for any­one who wanted to join the group, but not posted pub­licly. A few months ago I started shar­ing the de­vo­tions on our church web­page, pick­ing up where our for­mer pas­tor had left off, though I didn’t sign my name.

I didn’t want any­one know­ing it was me. I had sev­eral rea­sons for want­ing to re­main anony­mous, some hum­ble, some not so hum­ble. I didn’t want the read­ers to fo­cus on the writer and her crazi­ness, just the words and the mes­sage, which al­ways comes from the Holy Spirit. I also didn’t want to be judged or fail in some fash­ion, I didn’t want to take a risk by putting my­self out there for com­plaints, ridicule or re­jec­tion.

How­ever, I didn’t re­main anony­mous for long. Our pas­tor fi­nally re­quested that I add my name so when the de­vo­tion­als leaned to­ward the fe­male per­spec­tive, it wouldn’t cause any con­fu­sion. I strug­gled with it, but did it any­way which has led to this ar­ti­cle.

When asked to write a de­vo­tional for the pa­per, I stam­mered again, not only would I have to add my name, but also a pic­ture! Peo­ple I don’t know might rec­og­nize me, espe­cially when I am not at my best, which is more of­ten than I like to ad­mit.

As I thought of won­der­ful ex­cuses not to write, I was re­minded of when God called Moses to share His mes­sage. In Ex­o­dus, chap­ter four, God is in­struct­ing Moses what to say to the Is­raelites about their up­com­ing de­liv­er­ance from slav­ery in Egypt. Moses is com­ing up with many ex­cuses as to why God needed to pick some­one else. The Lord promptly an­swers in Ex­o­dus 4:11-12 (NIV), “Who gave hu­man be­ings their mouth? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

In­deed, who cre­ated us, who gives us the words to speak when shar­ing the gospel with others, who gives us grace and mercy for do-overs, who guides our thoughts if we let Him? When asked to do some­thing that is hard, or out of the or­di­nary for us, we ex­cel at mak­ing ex­cuses or sug­gest­ing some­one else who would be bet­ter equipped. When we do this, we aren’t lis­ten­ing or trust­ing in God and the Holy Spirit. We are think­ing about our in­ad­e­qua­cies in­stead of God’s mighty power; we worry about what others will think in­stead of show­ing our love and de­vo­tion to Christ our Sav­ior.

Anonymity pro­vides safety, pro­vides com­fort, but it also keeps us from shin­ing Christ’s light to others.

We will all make mis­takes, we will all be hyp­ocrites at one time or an­other, some­times our words will get jum­bled, but it isn’t about us. We are chil­dren of God, dis­ci­ples of Christ. If the Lord gives us some­thing to say, a job to do, we need to stand tall and say it, show Him and others that we are fully com­mit­ted to Christ and do­ing His work no mat­ter where or how He de­sires us to do it.

“Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his won­der­ful acts.” — Psalm 105: 2 NIV

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