Mission Impossible- God's Way

Mission Impossible–God’s Way

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:40

  • You want me to do what?
    • But I could not possibly do that!
      • What experience do I have?
        •  How can I relate?
          • What if we are too different?
            • What if they do not listen?

Maybe like me, you have similar responses to God when He calls you to do something for Him that is way out of your comfort zone.  When He calls you to a ministry or service that “others” are good at – not you!  Or calls you to do something that you are not “gifted in”?  When what He is asking seems like a Mission Impossible for you.

What God revealed to me years ago when He called me to join the Jail Ministry team from my church, is this:  when He calls you to do the impossible, it is because He has great blessings and richness in store for you beyond what you could ever imagine!  Because Mission Impossible is not a thing  with God!

So, when approached about being a leader in the Jail Ministry team at my church, God told me to “Take heart, my daughter!  This is not about you.  It is about loving my children right where they are!”

God had placed on my heart early in my life a love and compassion for those on the fringes.  He had given me an empathy and open spirit to the broken, maybe because I had experienced such brokenness in my own life.

So,  in spite of doubts and fears of the unknown, I said, “Yes, Lord” and moved forward with faithfulness and courage into a world of ministry that shaped me and grew me into the servant I am today.

Courage.  That is what it took to walk through those walls – heavy with stale air, with metal doors and locks for the first time.  I recently read something about courage from another Leadership Coach.  Like me, he had heard the quote “Courage is not the absence of fear but is moving forward in the face of fear.”  He then asked, “So, what is it that moves one forward in the face of fear?  The answer, I think, can be found in the etymology of the word itself.”

You see, our English word “courage” comes from the French cor which means “heart”.  Courage literally can mean “with heart”.  To live courageously is to live with heart – with your whole heart.  I had already surrendered my whole heart to God.  He then took up residence there, I had the courage and the heart to step into a world that desperately needed His love.  This courage has led me to tackle Mission Impossible assignments from Him through out my life! I am so grateful!

Recently I found a testimony that I wrote several years ago to my church about the experience of Jail Ministry.  Reading it brought tears to my eyes and a huge heart of gratitude for the task He called me to and equipped me to do for 20 + years.

Mission Impossible — A Testimony of God’s Great Love

 “I knew I was going to be writing this article, so this week I decided to pay close attention to the details of the day – the sounds, smells, and feelings that go with Jail Ministry.  Our team met in the parking lot, going together into the small lobby waiting area.  There we pressed the buzzer, letting the guard know we had arrived for Women’s Bible Study.  After a long wait, we went through the “checking in” process — thankful that the CD player we brought for worship music was deemed acceptable!

The guard buzzed us through a heavy metal door, then through a metal detector, to another station where our bags were inspected.  Given the all-clear, we were handed a key and a panic button and began the trek to the room used for the Bible Study — on our own.  We were grateful for the blue lines on the floors guiding our way!  We opened one heavy door, momentarily trapped in a small enclosure before the next door was buzzed open. The journey down tight corridors, through several heavy doors, breathing stale air, our footsteps echoing finally got us to the “chapel” – where we waited for the ladies to join us.  I must admit, there was always a sense of relief when we get to that room!

 Each step we took on that stale and stifling journey, was bathed in prayer and anticipation for the healing, freeing touch of Jesus to flood our time together with Light, as only He could!  Chairs were arranged in a circle, notes, Bibles, and prayer cards placed on each chair.  The ladies arrived by pods – and several pods were on lock down that day.  So, we only had a handful of ladies join us.  My heart filled with love as they helped us make the circle of chairs smaller.  

 Once settled and introductions made, “Amazing Grace” floated over us from the CD player, centering us, binding us together in the familiar and comforting words.  Then we opened our Bibles to Psalm 40, letting those beautiful words of David wash over us.

 I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

As a circle of seekers, we were encouraged by a God who redeems us, who lifts us out of a slimy pit of mud and mire, who gives us a firm place to stand.  Each woman, in some way, had endured a pit of their own – those of us leading included!  What a joy it was to share with them the awesome love of God that transforms us from pit-dwellers to Light-dwellers.  As we shared, the ladies became like sponges, soaking up the words, hope and love of Savior Jesus. 

 Hope began to grow in their thoughts and hearts.  A hope that they are not forgotten or discarded – but deeply loved by their Heavenly Father.  Prayer needs were written down on the cards provided, to be prayed over by us and the church’s prayer group.  We joined our hands in a circle of sisters, offering prayer and praise to God.

 We all left together the ladies and us, traveling through a few heavy doors and down a narrow corridor. Coming to the spot for us to turn toward our exit and the ladies to their pods, we said good-bye. They thanked us once more for coming and some even exchanged hugs.  Our team walked on in silence, praying that the seeds of love and hope just planted would take root.  We tried to put a name with a face, so we could picture them as we prayed over the coming weeks.

 The air was still stale, the corridors tight and closed in, the heavy doors oppressive, but the presence of the Holy Spirit and joy we had shared in the chapel, made our steps light.  We left the key and panic button with the guards behind the dark glass window and walked through the last of the metal doors to the parking lot – free to go home!  But blessed by those we had worshipped with that are not so free.

Monthly Jail Ministry never fails to move me, making me more in awe of our God and His loving compassion for ALL His children.  It is His ministry – His children in that dark place – His beloved daughters.  We simply have privilege of proclaiming that love to them – a Mission Impossible done God’s Way.

  •  Therefore, the team of 2-3 ordinary women who go back month after month,
    • can enter a world so full of hopelessness and despair.   
      • can leave knowing they had spent an hour on Holy Ground in His Holy Presence.
        • Can know that they had touched the heart of Jesus as they came to love some of the “least of these” we are called to serve in Matthew 25.

It is not for everyone to go physically to the Boone County Jail for Bible Study or to any Jail or Prison anywhere.  However, it is for every follower and lover of Jesus to serve and to love the “least of these” in some tangible capacity, for in doing so we are serving and loving Christ himself.

What Mission Impossible is God calling you to?  Or are you not sure what serving and loving Christ looks like for you?  Are you struggling with doubts or are there too many ideas swimming around to sort out?  Does the fear of failure or inadequacy take over?

I would be honored to walk this journey with you as you find your call and your purpose.

I would love to coach you forward into your sweet spot of serving and loving.

With God, there is no Mission Impossible.

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