I recently shared my review of The Return (<< affiliate link) by Lacey Sturm and as I stated, am reading through it a bit more slowly a second time. Reviews often require a hurried read through, while all the time the words call us back.
I headed to the bank one recent afternoon to do a deposit for The Lulu Tree, the non-profit ministry I have been involved with for several years. The teller was a young woman, who quickly informed me it was her first time doing a deposit with foreign checks. I laughed as I said, “Me too! We’ll learn together!”
She quickly looked down to see the name on the deposit slip, looked up, and then said, “Is this a non-profit?” Upon my reply of “yes”, she quickly commented it must be very rewarding to work with a non-profit. Seeing there was no one in the bank, I replied, “I have served with them for about five years and it has been the most rewarding five years of my life thus far.”
The conversation continued on as she asked what The Lulu Tree did and how it began. The questions continued as she marveled at how differently unwed teenage mamas are treated in other parts of the world. She commented on the strength and determination these young women display in keeping their babies, attending school, and providing for themselves.
In the book, Lacey Sturm tells the story of meeting a young fan. Upon realizing the teenager had struggles, there was much she wanted to say. With the limited time, she had to condense and choose her words. Little did I know the first time reading how the words before me would fully impact me:
“So I said, “God says that if we are faithful with a little, then we can be trusted with more. We have to look at what is right in front of us, then figure out how to be faithful with it.”
So I opened my hands and said, “I have no plans. What can you do with this life? Here I am, God, all is yours.” If you will honestly hand everything over to him – your gifts, talents, relationships, your heart, your life … then he will give you so much more than you could ever dream up on your own.”
(from page 16, The Return)
God has given each of us dreams and planted His purposes deep within our hearts. Some are buried, hidden away in our hearts due to other choices or fear of failure.
We must make the most of our time here, uncovering those dreams, blowing the dust off our talents and joining the Father in the work He is doing. He invites us in to partner with Him.
One day, upon our Lord’s return, He will ask what we have done not only with our lives, but with what He has given to us. May these be the words we each hear:
“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more opportunities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:23, NLT)
Let’s make the most of every opportunity He gives to us,
redeeming the communities and world around us.