“You are worried about fighting, biting and scratching. I am worried about sex, drugs and alcohol!” I will never forget sitting on the beach with my friend, Julie, when she said these words to me. At that time I had young children who were fighting over shovels in the sand, and she was watching young boys eyeing her beautiful teenage daughter on the beach. Her statement then alerted me to the fact that “life” tends to get more complicated and concerns of life more serious.
Now that I am on the “Back 9” of life, I have come to realize that “complicated” comes with age and maturity. God’s design to mature us as believers comes through the different phases of life. Complication is not a bad thing, if you are a Christian. It can bring about many great things in life. As Mark Batterson puts it so well, “The blessings of God won’t just bless you; they will also complicate your life in a positive way. Sin will complicate your life in negative ways.”
The positive complications of my life are things like marriage, having 3 children, owning a house, aging parents, starting a ministry and the list could go on and on. All of these things have brought great joy to my life but each one has added “complications,” a complexity. I find that this is God’s intent for my life, more complication. I can only see the complication increasing with the hopes of our children marrying and having grandchildren. In fact, I have been encouraged to pray for my life to become “more complicated”. The more complications in life, the more I grow in Christ, the more I have to depend on Him and the more it “expands my territory,” as Henry Blackaby would put it. Praying for “positive complication” keeps me living in a place where I have to pray and depend on God but work like it depends on me. I desire to finish strong and retirement is not in my vocabulary. I love the verse in Philippians 1:6, “Being very confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completeness until the day of Christ Jesus.” As long as we are breathing, God is not done with us. That was the basis for founding the “Back 9 Ministries”.
I have two very dear friends that I love who happen to be sisters. We have spent and shared much of life together. I absolutely love what they are doing on the “Back 9” of life. They have emptied their nest, even though their adult children come and go (complication! LOL!!). They are finishing strong!!!! They both have been long time supporters of “pro-life!” seeking to support the Unborn children. God’s children! Today, they give two full days a week to volunteer at “Daybreak Crisis Pregnancy Center”. They counsel many women who randomly show up at the center. Women who are pregnant, alone, poor, and lost in life. They have spent hours going through training on how to properly minister to these expecting mothers. They are compassionate, educated and look at their volunteer position (no pay) as a job that they are committed to. They are living James 1:22, “But be doers of the word….” Because of their service, I now have another friend in the “Back 9” who is praying about doing the same thing. The stories they share (without the names) have humbled me and ministered to me of how God is using them to affect lives and change in our world. Their ACTIONS scream at me.
Not only are they helping and ministering to the needs of others, they are setting an example to their children of “God’s not finished with me!” They are two busy people who minister in other places as well but this choice of “complication” in their lives has spoken volumes directly to my heart. Even though God has called me to serve in a different place, it has caused me to pray more for the situations they share with me, to get involved financially and write about it here!
I absolutely love the “Body of Christ”. God has gifted each part of the Body with unique gifts and equips and calls us each to different places to serve in different ways. I stress to you that a life of “significance” that leads to “success” involves doing things for others who can never repay you personally. Seek the positive “complication” of life. Allow God to stretch you in service. He has promised in Hebrews 11:20-21, “Now may the God of peace…………equip you with everything good thing that you may do HIS will.”
Choosing to complicate your life is a scary thing. Most people stop at praying for God to complicate it and stop short of doing anything because of the discomfort or inconvenience that it could bring. We get stuck spiritually. We end up just praying about doing something and we wait until the right time or until we are in the “right place”. What I find is God gets us “right” when we choose to jump out of the boat and into the water.
Consider where complications exist in your life (or should exist). As you are wondering if you really want to jump out of the boat, consider the beauty of the Body of Christ at work as described in the Scriptures below.
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation…”