“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:25 (NKJV)

 

It was the kind of nudge that comes from left field and leaves a person thinking, What was that?  This doesn’t sound like me at all.  It’s the very thought you’d completely dismiss if it weren’t accessibly positioned in your memory with the temptation of scratch-n-sniff sticker.

It’s just that I’ve always hated the idea of Sales.

But.  Beep.  Beep.  Beep.  (We’re backing up….)

There’s a running theme in my life.  A conversation with the Father that goes something like this, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)  How is it that I can stand so fully convinced of our God – so steeped in His provisions – and still wrestle with the insecurity of doubt and fear?

C.S. Lewis said, “Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.”  See, God’s not toying with us when He nudges us to take the risks we would never do under our own volition.  He’s making space for our faith to take root, while simultaneously expanding our ground to nurture that strong and stable growth within us.

I intimately know the concept, but I still get blindsided…

14 months ago I had the most random thought: “Consider Rodan and Fields.”  It’s a multi-level marketing skin care company.  I gave it all the time I felt it deserved.  Basically, dismissing it almost immediately.

It may seem minor.  We aren’t talking about giving a car away or moving to Cambodia, but this is a soft spot in my personality.  I’m not interested in selling anyone anything.  I can’t even muster the courage to ask you to share this free blog.  And there are quite enough nail stickers, wall art, personalized bags, jewelry, candles, oils, coffee and knives “for sale by owner” already available.  The private sales world tends to bring out the awkward in me.

But then, not one week later, a friend I hadn’t spoken with in many years sent me a message.  She admitted to putting God off for a while with her own from-left-field nudge, but was finally ready to ask me if I’d be interested in hearing a bit more about… yupper, you guessed it.

Only reason I said “yes” to hear her was because this was too coincidental to be coincidental.  We talked.  I surprised myself as I started to reconsider my position.  But shortly after that call, my life exploded with a big transatlantic move, so I laid Rodan and Fields down until the smoke cleared.  However, you and I both know nothing ever really clears.  We just find a new capacity for the crazy.

But, for nearly a whole year, I couldn’t shake it… “Consider Rodan and Fields.”  It’s ridiculous, I’d never even used a single product (Yes, yes, I know. Who sells something they’ve never tried?  Then again, why does the Holy Spirit care if I sell night cream anyway?)  Ultimately, I became as fed up with me as God surely was.  “You really need a ‘yes’ on this, Lord?  I have no idea why, but I’m in.”  Before I knew it, a big box loaded with skin care products arrived at my door.  Mission accomplished.

Nope.

One very tired night, 3 WEEKS later, that box kept staring at me from the corner of my bedroom (where it sat, now bff’s with the dust bunnies).  Yawning and with no expectations, I finally opened the shiny white container and started exploring.  Then, over the coming days I began trying things out for myself.  Trust me, this isn’t a covert R&F sales pitch, but you should know that I was completely and totally blown away.  I’ve tried a skin care system or ten over the years, and this blew everything I’ve ever tried out of the water.  And I had to laugh.  I never even once considered this could have personal tangible benefits for me.

That’s when the lesson, one that I’m certain will evolve over time, truly set the wheels in motion.  I now have in my possession something I want to tell all of my friends about.  Normally, I’d excitedly send carpools of people to try out a find this great for themselves.  Heck, we’d have margaritas and make a day of it!  After all, I tell everyone to ditch table salt and use Fleur de Sel instead – It will revolutionize your food!  And the White Tea candles from Home Goods transform your house into spa for just $8.99!  The pink Mabeline mascara with the green top is better than any $40 couture brand and lasts twice as long.  See?  I love sharing fun stuff with my friends.  There’s nothing awkward about that…

But this territory is new.  I don’t want to be the person others start to avoid.  You know, the one with an “agenda”.

And that’s when the Lord showed me some truth about my journey with Him.

I love God.  I have walked in His relentless grace, favor, and direction since my earliest of memories.  I’m convinced He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  But when it comes to friends and family, I don’t want to be too pushy about what I have, through Him, to “sell” to you.  The pitch can be very hard for me.  I like you too much to make you feel awkward (?, I know).  It’s not easy to admit, but let’s get honest.

Here’s something else truthful:  Turns out I’m passionate about skin care.  Never ever saw that coming, but when God nudges your heart, He’s got something good up His sleeve.  That’s why we’ve got to learn to hear those far left nudges and do something with them.  He’s just making space in us for the roots of belief.

It’s a new year, and that gets a lot of us thinking about what we can do differently – better.  Could be you’ve had more things on your heart than normal to say, “Yes” too.  That nagging sense that you should start tithing?  Yeah.  That feeling you should ask to pray with a friend who doesn’t even know you’re a Christian?  Uh, huh.  That person from whom you need to seek forgiveness?  Yup.  That Bible you want to start reading?  No kidding.  What’s stopping you?  How long does the Father have to stand at the same door and knock before you admit you’ve heard Him for the longest time?

Go ahead, buy your equivalent to a box of skin care and see what the fuss is all about…  And then consider sharing this blog.

(High Five.  I’m turning a new leaf.)