This is the second in a 2-part story from Christine Caine’s Undaunted. In part one Christine sets the stage for her encounter with recently-freed sex slaves and their challenging questions. -Adam Forrest
“Why didn’t you come sooner?” They asked…
“I don’t know,” I stammered at last. “I don’t know why I didn’t come sooner.” Such weak, small, light words for such a weighty question. “I am sorry. I am so sorry. Please forgive me.”
The silence became even more pronounced. Time seemed to have stopped. Nothing else mattered to me at that moment but these girls, their despair — and what healing God could bring to them. Though the silence seemed to last for an eternity, I felt so clearly present, so tuned into the now.
“I want you to know,” I said with new conviction, “that I have now heard your cries. I have seen you. I see you now.” I turned to Mary. “I see you, Mary…” I turned to Sonia. “I see you, Sonia.” I looked intently at each girl seated at the table. “I see each of you. I hear you. I know you by name. I have come for each of you.”
I wanted to see these girls as Jesus saw them — not as a sea of needs, but as individuals he had called by name and chosen one by one and loved. I heard his words before I spoke my own: Tell them I have their names written in my book. That I came to give the good news to the poor. To heal the brokenhearted. To set the captives free. Tell them these promises are for here. Now. As well as for eternity. [Psalm 69:28; 139:16; Isaiah 49:1; Revelation 3:5; 17:8; 20:12-15; Luke 4:18].
“You will no longer be hidden,” I told Sonia. “From now on, wherever I go, I will tell people you exist.” I focused on each girl, one at a time. “I will ask them the very same question you’ve asked me. I will not sit back waiting, hoping, wishing, for someone else to do something. I promise you: I will be the someone. Now that I have found you, I will find other girls like you. I will do everything I can to stop this.” …
Why we often avoid God’s work
Long after leaving that meeting, Sonia’s question rang in my ears, shook my mind, unsettled my heart. Why didn’t you come sooner? I offered them no excuses that day, but I did know that there were reasons. Reasons that, when we hear God’s call, when we feel that gentle (or not so gentle) urging of God’s Spirit for us to make a bold step, take a risk, serve others, save a life, commit — we so often hold back.
It’s because we don’t feel empowered. We don’t feel qualified. We think we lack the courage, the strength, the wisdom, the money, the experience, the education, the organization, the backing.
We feel like Moses when, from out of the burning bush, God called him to speak for him before Pharaoh. And Moses answered, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent… I am slow of speech and tongue… Please send someone else” (Exodus 4:10–13).
Not me, God. I’m afraid. Weak. Poor. Stupid.
Not long ago, that is exactly how I would have responded. But it has never been my desire to be daunted, to be afraid, to be unable to respond to God’s call. Is it yours? I doubt it. I think that you, like me, want to be able to say instead, “Here am I, Lord — send me.” We don’t want to sound like Moses, stammering around in search of excuses.
And we don’t need to. Because, just as God gave Moses exactly what he needed to accomplish great things for God, he will equip us in just the same way. If he calls us to slay giants, he will make us into giant slayers.
God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
And that is what this book Undaunted is about. It is about what I call the “normal Christian life” — living boldly and courageously in the face of great difficulty, and amazing the world by beating the odds, for God’s glory. It is what the apostle Paul meant when he told Timothy, “The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
There is no shortage of ways life tries to daunt us, to render us incapable of following the bold and valiant plan God has for us. This book is about how to move past that — how to become undaunted.
And as I traveled away from that meeting that day, I thought of my own story. If anyone ever had a reason to feel unqualified, to feel daunted, it was me. And the reasons for that went back to things that happened before I was even born…
-From Undaunted by Christine Caine (@ChristineCaine)
Learn more about Christine Caine’s story in her new book Undaunted: Daring to Do what God Calls You to Do
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