by Sheri Schofield
It was a beautiful summer day at the lake. Our church had just held its yearly baptism. Nearly half of the eleven baptized were in my children’s church class. It was a joy to see them follow Jesus in baptism. Afterward, one of the other children from my class came up to me, dripping wet. Her older sister had been baptized, but her parents did not think this five-year-old was quite ready, though she very much wanted it. As she shivered, water dripping from her clothes, she looked up at me and confided, “I baptized myself. Twice!”
Her determination and desire reminded me of myself. I live in Montana, a very conservative part of the USA, where women are rarely allowed to hold staff ministry positions in churches. When we moved here twenty years ago, I struggled with that. I had studied children’s ministries and theology in college and had already spent many years in ministry. Suddenly, I faced limited options.
At first I felt resentful. But over the years, God has worked through those limitations to produce good things for both the church and me. Accepting what was available to me, I poured my love and Bible knowledge into the lives of a generation of children. What I learned over the years now enables me to write for others who work with children. In this way, I am able to reach many more children for Jesus than I could ever have in a ministry position at a single church.
There comes a point where we must choose whether to chafe at our situation or trust God’s guiding hand. Rahab lived in ancient Jericho. She had no means of supporting herself other than prostitution. She must have struggled with her lot! She did not know the one true God, but she had heard of his mighty deeds among the Israelites. She wanted to know that God! Now, with Israel camped not far from Jericho, she knew that her city was doomed. One day two Israelite spies came to town. Rahab hid them from the men of the city and saved their lives. In return, she asked that the Israelites spare her and her family when God gave Jericho to Israel. Her request was granted. Not only was she spared but she is also listed among Jesus’ ancestors. God had placed her in Jericho for a purpose, brought her to himself, and then given her a position of eternal honor. (Joshua 2, 6:25 and Matthew 1:5)
Believing in God’s sovereignty means trusting Him to place us where we are needed most. Ask God how you can make the most of your gifts where he has you. Think outside the box! If we keep our eyes on Jesus and our hearts ready to show His love and grace toward others, we will thrive.
No life committed to obedience and trust in Jesus is ever wasted. While we wait for larger assignments, we can trust that the tasks God has given us today are preparation for something more, either in this life or in eternity.
So go ahead: Baptize yourself! Jump into the work that is available to you! Trust Jesus to prepare you and to open the right doors. He will.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
About the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil. Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, will be launched June 1. It is designed to help parents lead their children into a saving relationship with Jesus.
Free Book Contest! Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Sheri’s book, One Step Ahead of the Devil, please comment below. By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win! If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.
Join the conversation: What limitations have you faced? How did God use you in spite of them?