God answers our prayers in ways we never imagined nor expected. I asked Him to teach me how to love more, how to love like Him–unconditional. So He gave me a practicum. It was just like that line in Evan Almighty, “If someone prayed for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If they prayed for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunities to be courageous?” I asked. He gave.
A rubber band is only useful when stretched. A friend of mine said that for my prayer to be answered, I needed more stretching that what I have been getting from work. She was right.
I grabbed this opportunity as a leap of faith. I never expected that it will be the opportunity God will use to teach me how to love like Him. I should have guessed during my time with Him that very first morning. I read Ephesians 3:14-21, which was about Christ’s love. Looking back, I think the Spirit inside me knew it will be difficult and painful all along, for I was crying the whole time I was praying, but my mind didn’t exactly know why. From that prayer to all prayers onwards (except those I led), I allowed myself to be vulnerable before Him and just poured out everything in tears.
As I grow in my faith, 1 Timothy 4:12 has always been a promise I hold on to. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (NIV),” Paul says to Timothy. Somehow, other forces would tend to pull me away from the comfort and security this verse gives me. These times proved to be very difficult because in these times I become an ineffective servant. However, God won’t allow His purposes not to be fulfilled. He takes care of everyone in His team, He gives all the grace needed to fulfill the task He, Himself, handed on to us. He assured me that He fills me with His grace by reminding me that I was also named “Anna” (it means “Gracious” or “Full of Grace”). He channelled the graces through people who were serving with me. (To these people, I also give you big, big thanks for letting God use you, for praying with me. ^_^)
“Are you still up for it, Karla?” I heard God ask me. “You will experience more of these in the path that you want to take. Do you still want to be my hands and feet?”
And so I answered with tears flowing from my eyes, “I give myself away, Lord, so You can use me. Because my life is not my own, it is Yours, and so I give myself to You. Continue showing me how to love like you. Teach me Your compassion–break my heart for what breaks Yours. For everything I have is for Your kingdom’s cause. I am Yours; I’ll go where You send me.”
I’m not sure how things turned out for the people I was with. For things out of my control, I trust God that He’s the one who touches our individual hearts and allows us to learn His ways, what He wants for our lives.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1 (NASB)