Has God ever asked you to do something that you felt was completely off the charts? Something that you’d like to do but it flies in the face of conventional wisdom? Something that makes you feel like, well like, a fish swimming upstream?
Recently, God positioned one of those “do this” things in my heart. It was about giving, specifically about giving money to some friends who are going through tough times financially. My immediate response was “ok, I understand, Lord. I’ve got this.” Then He told me a very specific amount. I gasped and thought, really?
Being an obedient servant is often a struggle for me. I thought it through, and then thought it through again. I prayed and then prayed some more. I went from a definite “yes” to, umm, well… to ‘are you sure you want me to give them that much?’ Maybe I can give them XXX amount as opposed to what you’re telling me, God. Surely they won’t know the difference.”
Start swimming, Bev.
I’ve always found the salmon migration interesting. We know that salmon come from the upper reaches of a river. After birth, they swim downstream where they enjoy the ocean’s freedom, travel great distances, and finally return to the very stream where they were spawned in order to repeat the birth cycle themselves.
Yes, I know in the end they die but here’s the thing. It’s their journey upstream that intrigues me. It is fraught with obstacles along the way. They endure rapids, strong currents, and waterfalls. They have to evade ravenous bears, skillful eagles, and avid fisherman. Yet they are resolute in their purpose. With dogged determination they continue on.
It’s true that in my journey toward obedience I don’t have to beat back bears or dodge eagles. Worse…I fight doubt, struggle to obey, and am willing to sellout to fear. Why would I succumb to that? Haven’t I experienced God’s generosity through Christ countless times? Isn’t “it more blessed to give than to receive?” [Acts 20:35] Of course it is.
This time, I was able to get through those conflicts. If you’re like me I think you’ll want to know the outcome. In the end, I did exactly as Lord asked and I did it solely with the help of His Holy Spirit. My friends were beyond speechless, beyond grateful, and my soul was right with God because of it. It wasn’t an easy decision but doing something extraordinary for God rarely is.
“Purpose is what gives life meaning…a drifting boat always drifts downstream.” ~Charles H. Parkhurst
What is Jesus inviting you to do today? Do you have what it takes to swim upstream should the request be out of your comfort zone? Oh, how I pray that you do. It is so worth the journey!