“I am with you. I will watch over you everywhere you go”—Genesis 28:15 (NIRV)
Almost 11 years ago, I took a giant leap of faith. I left a northeastern Oklahoma community where I’d lived since 1969—except for the times I’d gone away to college—to move to a larger town about 70 miles west. I left behind family and friendships formed over a 36-year period to a place where I knew very few people.
However, during the time I’ve lived in Rogers County, I’ve been blessed with a multitude of friends. Those friends have encouraged me, laughed and cried with me, prayed with and for me and stood by me during times of trouble. Even more importantly, being here has helped my faith grow. Through my church family and the people of faith God has placed in my path, my spiritual eyes have been opened to embrace what God can do in our lives when we place our trust in Him.
What does God ask of us?
I like what best-selling author and minister, Norman Vincent Peale said about faith. “Faith is the most powerful of all forces operating in humanity and when you have it in depth nothing can get you down.”
However, it wasn’t always that way for me. I’d only been in Claremore about a year when I yearned to return home. Prayer and the advice of wise individuals revealed to me I was here for a reason. Soon, I came to call this place home. I had no desire to return.
About two years ago, God began working in me through a variety of ways. I knew He had plans for me to move. I just wasn’t sure where. Through reading scripture, praying daily, hearing the testimony of others and listening to my pastor’s sermons, I explored my options. Then, a very powerful dream last November affirmed I needed to return home.
While I will miss my church family and the friendships I’ve formed, I’m excited about the new adventure God has in store for me. I will continue to write this column. I am clarifying because so many people have asked.
What does God ask of us? When Jesus was asked which commandment of the Law was the greatest, He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
What God wants from His children is really quite simple: He wants us. He wants our hearts, and all of our service for Him must flow from these two commands to love.
A recent devotional I read said, “The Word of God spreads out like ripples of water.”
If you’ve ever thrown a stone into a body of water, you know what happens. A ripple occurs. I want to be a part of that ripple effect. Wherever I go, my faith will lead me to share the Good News.
My challenge to you is to “go make ripples in the name of Jesus.”