Let Go of Stinking Excuses

Everyone dreams. Sit down in the quiet with a cup of coffee and allow your mind to wander. Where does God take you? What dream has He put in your heart?

A little over a year ago, I took some time to dream. Guided by Pathway to  Purpose by Katherine Brazelton, I allowed myself to dream God-sized dreams.

I dreamed of writing.

I dreamed of discipling women.

I dreamed of extending my reach beyond my immediate circle.

Writing those dreams down was a little frightening as it committed me to trying to achieve them. If these were God-given dreams, wouldn’t God provide all that I needed to achieve these dreams? To not pursue them would be a lack of faith on my part.

Faith Versus Fear

dream god sized dreams

When I wrestle with faith versus fear, several verses come to mind. “For I know the plans I have for you.” “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

Likewise, several stories come to mind. Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus. Noah braving the culture to build a great big life raft. Elisabeth Elliot returning to the Auca Indian tribe in Ecuador after they murdered her husband.

Each of these verses offers encouragement. Each story can build courage. But this is where I settled: no one wants to listen to me because I have nothing important to contribute. With over a million blogs on the web, why does another one even need to exist?

I remember very clearly, cleaning my girls’ room one day while listening to blog tutorial podcasts. The amount of things I didn’t know rivaled the pile of candy wrappers and discarded Barbie accessories I found stashed under the girls’ bed. I was overwhelmed and really didn’t see any reason to try.

Martha Makes Excuses

I was much like my biblical counterpart, practical Martha. As Jesus approached her brother’s tomb, she told Him that she believed.

But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you. . . I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world. (John 11:22, 27)

But, when it came time to put her faith in action, Martha’s faith met its limit. Jesus commanded the stone of Lazarus’ tomb be rolled away. My dear, practical, always thinking ahead Martha said, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days” (John 11:39).

That’s my girl! One minute, declaring unwavering belief as she walked with her Savior and, then, quickly pointing out all the reasons His big plans won’t work the next.

That is the very place I sat as I sorted through my daughters’ trash and treasures that fall day. I had a glimpse of what God called me to do, but I saw the huge gap between His calling and my abilities.

“I believe. But, I will stink at it, Lord!”

I was afraid to roll the stone away; afraid what waited on the other side was less than what God promised.

Our Savior was gentle with Martha as He told her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). He was equally gentle with me. He used the encouragement of a few friends to push me to hit “publish.”

When the stone rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, Martha wasn’t hit with the smell of death. Instead, she was met with an unbelievable vision of life. Her brother, dead four days, stood before her whole, alive, and smelling great.

See the Glory of God

dream God sized dreams

Jen and me at The Farm House

As I write this, I am 30,000 feet in the air on my way to a book launch party at Jen Hatmaker’s house. This is not the stink that I feared when I started this blog less than a year ago. No, ma’am! This is “unbind him” wonder and amazement. It is “pinch me, I’m dreaming.”

It is the work of a God who helps us dream His dreams and then works faithfully in and through us to do amazing things.

What dreams has God put into your heart? What stinking excuses do you need to release? I encourage you to let Jesus roll that stone away. Believe that something amazing waits for you on the other side.

Recommended Resources

On Becoming a Writer, by Jen Hatmaker
“Do not become immobilized by good writing already out there. Stop that this instant. Literature is not an exercise in scarcity. The world always needs good writing. There is room for you.”

Three Benefits of God-sized Dreams by Megan Miller
The struggle inherent to realizing God-sized dreams is put there on purpose by a loving God who wants to draw us closer and enlarge the boundaries of his Kingdom. The struggle is the point; it is the real work.

Dreaming God-Sized Dreams, by Margaret Feinberg
“But whatever your age and stage in life, that’s the heartbeat of the innovative life—recognizing that we are all called and created to be about the redemptive purposes of God. We’re meant to dream God-sized dreams.”

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