By, Billy Beasley
Earlier this year I felt as if I were isolated in the desert. There was no revelation.
As I look back with more clarity today, I wanted revelation but I desired it on terms comfortable to me. Each time it was suggested I step out into a new area I said, “Not me. I am not qualified for that.” It is not that I was unwilling to serve. I just felt woefully inadequate.
Earlier this year I asked my small group leader, Kim if anyone walked the sanctuary before service began, praying over those that would fill the seats. He invited me to join the Care Team that met approximately an hour before the first of three services. Care Team? No way. They pray for people. Besides, I was serving with Next Steps. It was a role I was comfortable in.
As summer break arrived, our church, Lifepoint reduced the services to two each Sunday. I informed our Next Steps leader, Randy that I would take a break and return to serving when we resumed having three services in August. “I think you would be great on the Care Team,” he replied. Once again my response to him and to God was, “I am not the guy.”
Randy has been a great source of encouragement. He believed I was capable of things that I quite frankly could not see. He also pushed just a little. He kept encouraging me to commit to the Freedom Conference Small Group. It was for thirteen weeks beginning in the Spring and ending in late June. I had been asked last year and I responded that Wednesday was my small group night. I was comfortable with Kim’s group. I had finally found a small group that was the right fit for me. No small task. But Kim was having not one but two knees replaced earlier this year, which meant we were not meeting. Grudgingly, I agreed to surrender thirteen weeks of my life to the Freedom Conference.
That final day of the conference shook things loose from me and gave me new perspective. I came home and wrote three words on our chalk board. Past, present, petty. My beautiful wife, Julie asked, “What does that mean?”
“We are not talking about my checkered past any longer. We are going to do our best to live in the present and we are going to try our best to let petty things go. It was my way of trying to stay focused on our relationship with our Father.
Soon after this I sensed that I should consider being a small group leader. Once again, I refrained. I shared with Randy that I was not the type to break down Bible chapters. His response was to take my love of the outdoors and do something with it. So I am going to lead a small group this fall, A Walk in the Woods.
In August, Lifepoint returned to three services. Our senior pastor, Jeff Kapusta, also returned from taking a break. During his time of unwinding and prayer he felt led to call the church to 21 days of prayer. The weekday prayer times were six a.m. and noon. I have sleep issues and five in the morning is often the time I am actually sleeping well. I was intrigued when this was announced on Sunday but six a.m.? Maybe I will attend some of the noon meetings. Pastor Jeff’s mom, Karen, just happened to ask me, “So we will see you in the morning?” Later in the day, Kim sent me a text, “Are you going in the morning and can we go to breakfast after?”
The previous week I had shared with Kim that I wanted to talk with him. I had been sensing that the Lord wanted me to stop taking a back seat to everyone and step into the role He has called me too. Just those words made me think that sounds egoistical. Being humble is a big priority in my life. Micah 6:8 is my second favorite verse. He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Fast forward twenty one days, in which I was there every day. Weekdays at six a.m. I did not attend for some achievement but because it was such an incredible blessing from the first day. Typically, I would have parked myself in a seat next to Kim the entire time. I moved out of my comfortable introverted world and sat at different tables the first week. I met new people. Really good people with incredible stories. My relationship with people I did know, like Kim grew stronger. Prayers were answered and there will be prayers answered in the future that were offered during those twenty one days.
So you sense a pattern here? If asked, my immediate response is, “Lord, I am not your guy. That is a job for Kim or Randy, or anyone but the likes of me.”
Last Saturday was our last day of twenty one days of prayer. Jeff’s dad, George, asked Julie and I, “Would the two of you like to serve communion Wednesday night?” That night was to be a night of worship, our culmination, our celebration of twenty one days of prayer.
Now, I have never served communion but guess what? I did not say “God, I am not your guy”. We told him we would be honored to do so.
Last Sunday was also my first day serving on the Care Team.
I have been stretched.
Meet the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. They are active members of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, NC.
Billy is the author of The River Hideaway- a traditionally published work of faith based fiction. He shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in this novel. Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’.
A special thank you to Billy Beasley for sharing this Sunday inspiration with us. Such a powerful story! You can find Billy's column here at Pandora's Box Gazette the 2nd Sunday each month as one of our Sunday Inspiration regular contributors.