Sometimes I am faced with situations that are too big for me. I think I am good enough to make a difference, and then I run into problems that I can’t solve, people I can’t change, families I can’t fix. There isn’t enough time, enough skill, enough wisdom, enough patience. When I come up against the wall and (finally) realize that I am not capable, I have to remember that I am a tool, not the carpenter. I am responsible to sow the seed, not make the crops grow.

Having grown up in a white, middle class home, going to church since birth and attending private schools through college, and then ministering to teens in a primarily white, middle class congregation, I have a worldview. I minister through that worldview. I have defined what is important and what people need to hear. Even when I teach abstinence classes at the high school, I am of the mind that everybody just needs to make the right decisions and they will be fine. Just Do It.

However, as I am becoming more familiar with the cultural differences God is showing me through Kaleidoscope and the kids coming to GP through that program, I am questioning everything – not the truth about Jesus and His ability to save us, but about my approach in teaching about Him. As I learn more about these kids and their homes and backgrounds, I am faced with enormity of the job that needs to be done. It isn’t a matter of telling teens not to curse or have sex. It is changing everything about their life. It is trying to teach love to people who may not have experienced true love. It is trying to teach self-control to people who haven’t ever learned control. It is, too many times, trying to help teens develop a relationship with a loving Father when they have no experience with a father at all.

I guess, if I am to be honest, it makes me question if God is really THAT big. I know He has created the world. I know that He parted the Red Sea. I know that He made the walls of Jericho fall. I know that He healed the blind and lame, fed thousands with a small boy’s lunch, and even raised the dead. But can He do this? Can He take kids from a family, a neighborhood, even an entire culture that values extreme self-reliance and pursuit of self and make them into people who pursue Him, rely on Him and give all of themselves for Him? Obviously the answer is a resounding YES. This is child’s play compared to the Ten Plagues or something. So why do I have so much trouble believing that?

It comes down to me trusting God to do something that I cannot do. I have to face the fact that I tend to limit God to the things that I can do. Then I trust in myself, all in the guise of trusting God. I’ll be honest. I look at the work order and think it is impossible. It is too hard. I can’t do it, so I don’t see how God can do it either.

God, I pray that you will forgive me for my lack of faith. I do believe, please help my unbelief! I know that you can do this. I don’t know what you will do, but I do know that it is bound to be amazing. Please help me stop trusting in myself. Take this opportunity and do whatever you see fit. Help me not to shy away from any task because I am afraid or because I don’t think it can be done. Help me empty myself of my pride and my expectations and my fears so I can be effective in the role that You have given me to play. Amen

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