There have been a number of things that have made me nervous as a pastor, but perhaps not more so than the summer I spent interning as a hospital chaplain. I spent the months ahead of my internship a nervous wreck, because I knew that part of the position involved “cold calling” on patients. Every intern was assigned a floor of the hospital, and spent part of the day “dropping in” on patience. I am a very private person who does not want their space invaded, so the thought of invading other’s space all summer terrified me. However, it ended up being an amazing and blessed summer. I soon found out that a never ending barrage of people entered patient rooms asking if they needing anything, so I was not really intruding. God ended up leading me to many incredible conversations and opportunities that summer. It taught me a big lesson in how important it is to trust God to use me.
There are many times I am afraid to try something out of fear of failing, and other times where I try something and seemingly fail. There may be other times that I try some and succeed, but the success has little to do with me, but everything to do with God. The reality is that every time we try something in the name of God we are being the disciples He wants us to be. The important thing is not that we always achieve the type of instant success society teaches us to aim for, but that we truly use our gifts to the fullest. We give our best and fullest try in all circumstances, and we trust God with the results.
A scripture that lays this concept was written by Paul as he sat in prison. Paul had given the greatest try possible in spreading the gospel to every person and place possible. Yet, here he sat, with the possibility that he may not leave alive. His best try very much could have seemed like a failure. Yet, in the midst of that difficult circumstance, he wrote:
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
This passage, which so often gets taken out of context, hits home the idea that we must serve God to the fullest and trust Him with the results. Try sharing the gospel with your neighbor, and trust God with the results. Try serving in a different ministry, and trust God with the results. Try learning a new language so you can share with people in a different culture, and trust God with the results. What do you need try in the name of God this week?