My friend Sherri Coffield from VineArts in Boise, ID posted this piece about taking the reins on a major project. In this post she perfectly shows the fears, struggles and ultimate triumph of taking a step of faith into a new role. I’ve lived in this place a hundred times. It’s a place where you find yourself in over your head and discover that you have only one option, the only one any of us really has, put your faith, your skills and everything else in God’s hands and trust Him to accomplish what only He can do. Sherri writes:
The new “Rivers of living water” backdrop at church is a testimony of Gods faithfulness. When our Arts Leader, Jessie, told our group that she was starting a new job and couldn’t put together the new backdrop, she was asking that someone in our group take the project on. The room was silent. I felt nudged to relieve some of the pressure I precieved Jessie was feeling, with starting her new job yet trying to maintain an Arts Ministry, so after some silent moments I said I would do it. Everyone said they would help, we all prayed about the subject but in the end finances kept us from the original design and I had to make an executive decision to change our original plan.
Suddenly the pressure was on (self inflicted) and I became full of fear that I couldn’t do it. I was convinced that I didn’t have the skill, the resources, the time and now I don’t want to even do this. I’m sorry I volunteered for this. It is wrong for me and I can’t do it! I don’t even know what I’m doing. I put more stress on Jessie than she had before we started because we are less than a week out and I can’t pull myself together enough to start the process, overwhelmed even by the time constraints.
All of a sudden events happened at church that made postponing the addition of the new backdrop inevitable, which at first just added to my panic, but then calmed me when I realized that I would have another week to finish it (blessing #1), and “oatmeal” walls would be a good experience for the congregation, since they haven’t seen the naked walls for about 4 years? I drew up a mock up, spent a lot of time with Dean being encouraged (poor guy got an ear full) (Blessing #2 Dean) and the night before we were to begin the painting I am inspired with this: (Blessing #3) “Put the fear and stress away, let it go. This is not about you. Do you not have faith in me? I have met you in this place many times before. You have preached these very words to others. You have believed them before. Take a step and I will show up, meet you there and everything will be ok. Have joy in this, fun in creating and fun with others in the creating. I have great joy when you have joy.”
… I have great joy when you have joy. Wow. Can you imagine the Lord of Heaven chuckling and smiling down on us when we are living in joy? Happy for us! So we Vine artists met the next evening and threw paint, all colors, on wet canvas, and laughed and sang and danced on the canvas (Blessing #4). Everyone had a great time. The next night we met again and re-examined what we had done the night before, making new decisions on the spot (inspired by God, Blessing #5) The following 2 nights were spent refining it, scrubbing and washing areas for effect, adding a dark color and a splash of Gold. God showed up everyday and inspiration was quick and easy (Blessing #6). It was like playing with the Lord.
Every day I came with a clear mind, no agenda, no plan and He showed me what to do. God never fails, never gives up, never leaves us. He is true to His word. How come I forget this under stress? Weakness, not enough faith, fear? I’m still learning GOD NEVER LEAVES US, HE IS ALWAYS GOOD. And every time I learn this lesson I get to be presented with a beautiful piece of art. Not so much a literal piece, although this time it was (Blessing #7), but a look at my growing love relationship with my Creator, my Father, my Abba my All. An ongoing language of love.
Look at what the Lord created! He is so good.”
I think it’s kind of fitting that a story where a person who felt in over her head would be painting living water because if there was ever a place to be over your head, it would be living water. When we are with Christ, we are never in over our heads. There is nothing He can’t do and He is both the living water and the solid Rock on which we stand.
Where is fear limiting you today? Maybe it’s time to dive into the living water.