Do you ever feel paralyzed by the enormity of what God is calling you to do? This post will help you find a way to think small in the midst of a big call.

Could You Be Ignoring God?


Have you ever felt God calling you to do something that just seemed too hard?

Whether it’s being nice to the rude person at work or starting a new ministry, God sure knows how to stretch us in ways we could never imagine! Doesn’t He?

But I have to admit, when God pushes me like that, my first reaction is not usually one of cooperation. It’s a lot more like Jonah’s reaction when God asked him to go to Nineveh — RUN!

It’s an instinct, and a rebellious one at that, and it can leave us quivering with fear and guilt. But perhaps how we ultimately respond to God’s call is more important than our initial reaction. I sure hope so!

Several months ago, I started wrestling with a call from God when I stumbled upon a touching story about impoverished children living in a remote village. I could feel God tugging at my heart the way He did Jonah’s in the Bible. He was asking me to help these people.

So I checked into it and, as I did, the anxiety welled up inside of me. There was such a staggering need and endless ways to help. After researching for hours, the enormity of the problem left me feeling paralyzed. And in the end, I did nothing to help.

I hid from God and let myself believe it was no big deal. Slowly those children slipped from my mind — for a while.

Then, one day as I was reading the Bible, it was like the words from James were speaking directly to me.

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:15-17)

As those words bounced around in my heart, it felt like the spiritual equivalent of being eaten by a whale.

I realized my heart was in a cold, dark place just like Jonah when he sat in the belly of that whale. I could feel God calling me to help. But the problem remained — where should I start?

So I did the only thing I could; I prayed and asked God to guide me. Then I promptly forgot all about it…everything…again. (I can only imagine the deep sighs my behavior must elicit from God sometimes!)

I forgot, but God didn’t forget.

Instead, months later, He put the message of Hebrews 3:15 on my heart: If today you hear my voice, harden not your hearts.” Over and over this verse came to my mind, and at one point I actually asked God, “Okay, what are you getting at?”

His message was made clear soon enough in the form of a post written by Bonnie Gray who was traveling to the Dominican Republic to visit impoverished children needing sponsors. She linked to a charity where you could sponsor a child.  

Do you ever feel paralyzed by the enormity of what God is calling you to do? This post will help you find a way to think small in the midst of a big call.

And somehow I knew if I clicked away I’d be making a choice. I’d be saying no to God — hardening my heart.

So naturally I signed up to sponsor a child right away

…okay, no I didn’t.

Instead I stalled.

I did some research on the charity and found that Compassion International has a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator. They are one of the leading charities of their kind.

Then I scrolled through the pictures of the children, and the name of one caught my eye: Josnifer. Her name was similar to mine, and it reminded me of something silly my sister would call me.

So I paused and read about Josnifer, a 4-year-old little girl living in the Dominican Republic. She had been waiting for over a year for a sponsor, and as I looked at her smiling face my heart was moved. Finally, finally I signed up to sponsor my first child, Josnifer.

Do you ever feel paralyzed by the enormity of what God is calling you to do? This post will help you find a way to think small in the midst of a big call.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Our anxiety has a way of freezing us in place when God calls us. Often it is because we are thinking on a large, grand, God-like scale.

But perhaps He is calling us to do one small thing — to be faithful in the little things.

 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. (Luke 16:10)

Praying today that we can all overcome our anxiety and follow God in the small ways of our lives.

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24 thoughts on “Could You Be Ignoring God?

  1. I used this exact scripture in my recent post.
    For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
    You have used this too and indeed we are called to do good works. God bless you and keep up the good works.

  2. Oh my goodness, isn’t that wonderful how God speaks to our hearts in unison sometimes! I love it. Heading over to read your post now.

  3. Isn’t His patient grace just amazing? –How He consistently, graciously reminds us of those things that He is doing in us and those ways He is wanting to move through us? I love it! We have sponsored a child in Ethiopia since our own girlie was 3… she’s 19 now. We also sponsor a little boy in the Dominican Repulic! This post made me remember to write them both a letter! The sending money part is simply part of our budget – but the being intentional and relational part is so important too! Glad we are neighbors over at Holly’s place tonight!

  4. Love, love, love Compassion and am a Compassion Blogger!!! So excited that you sponsored a child. It’s so humbling to see what a few dollars to us can do in their lives. And they get to know Jesus on top of that? Win/Win!!

  5. Hi Josnifer! (just kidding!) I’m coming over from Kelly’s Ra-Ra Link-up.
    You work a lot like I do. I hear a prompt from God and then spend days and weeks wondering: was that God or was that me?
    I remember seeing the same message on Bonnie’s blog site, and being so happy for her. We sponsor a child in Africa already, so I know the pull of choosing to put your money where your heart is. Good for you! And I know your little one will benefit greatly.
    If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart. Yes. Still working on it…

  6. It’s much easier to run and ignore. I’m thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness. And that He continues to work in our hearts.

  7. Jenni,
    I just love this post! I followed Bonnie’s journey too and although I thought about sponsoring a child last year, I never did. But this year, I just couldn’t NOT do it and I sponsored a girl from Sri Lanka. As soon as I clicked the Sponsor button, I wondered what had taken me so long. Love these words today!

  8. How beautiful and encouraging! And timely. I’ve heard God speaking to my heart very specifically about this very thing recently. I’ve been waiting on my husband’s agreement. I think I’m going to propose a sacrifice in something that I personally spend money on regularly…. Coffee ;). If I’m willing to give up my coffee treats, I’m thinking he will more than agree. I’m getting so excited now! Thanks for sharing your story! Visiting from Coffee For Your Heart.

  9. Jenni, i love studying Jonah and appreciate your prayers that we find joy in taking action according to His call. Compassion is such a great call too! Have a great day, Kim Stewart

  10. Jenni, I am so glad God doesn’t give up! He just keeps talking. We too sponsor a child. Lem Lem. Your post will surely encourage others to sponsor. Your words also encourage me to stop saying NO! Love you friend.

  11. What a blessing you will be to Josnifer. She’s beautiful. This encourages me to send a new note to my sponsored child Jose in El Salvador! (I tend to stall too.)

  12. Karrilee, how fun to watch the kids grow up! That’s such a neat part of donating in this way. It’s very personal! Thanks for stopping by Genuflected.

  13. It really is win/win! It makes me feel so much better to know that I am helping in some small way. And, as you said, what is a small way to us makes a huge difference to them!

  14. Ceil, you are too funny! And yes, we are all these wonderful works in progress, aren’t we? Still working on it, but at least we are working. Have a great day! Thanks for stopping by Genuflected.

  15. Valerie, I felt the same way! I agonized over the decision for months, and then once I finally sponsored Josnifer I wondered what took me so long! The benefit to these kids is definitely worth a little sacrifice on our end. Thanks for stopping by Genuflected!

  16. Yes, Stephanie! I was in the same boat. But I think it’s good when we have to sacrifice a little. It makes it all the more meaningful when we choose to give. Thanks for stopping by Genuflected. I’m so excited that you are moving forward on sponsoring a child!

  17. Hi Jenni! My first instinct is to run a lot of times, too! Thank you for sharing and challenging us to take action when God nudges and find the joy that comes with obedience! Visiting from #RaRaLinkup

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