I’ve been serving the Lord for what feels like most of my life. My mom was a volunteer children’s ministry director, so I was volunteering in children’s ministry from the time I could cut paper. So, I’ve seen ministry from behind the scenes for a long time. If you have served in ministry for at least five minutes, you know what I mean by that.
There is the beauty and the wonder of it, and there is the hard and the brokenness of this earth. I could tell you multiple stories, but there was one point in my leadership about three years ago, when the only security I had in this world and the only anchor I had in this world—and the only thing that was telling me the truth in this world—was the Bible.
It was all I could depend on to the point where I could not sleep, unless this book was next to me. I didn’t want to drive in the car. I didn’t want to go to the office. Didn’t want to do anything unless my Bible was with me. God is faithful in His Word. It was and is sure, secure, dependable, truthful, and powerful.
It had literally become everything.
I share that with you, because I just want you to know that when everything in our life and our leadership is changing, we can go to the truth of God’s Word for our security.
In this Season
We are all fighting discouragement in this season. We are all having to resist division in this season. It has been full of rapid and jarring changes. And it has been a hard season to navigate.
You know, none of us got into children’s ministry to make videos, right? That is not the reason we got into this. We didn’t get into children’s ministry to not see our kids.
And this vortex of the past couple of months has created an environment where momentum is hard to gain, motivation is difficult to nurture, clarity feels distant, and the value of our role feels so difficult to discern.
But even though all of these things are true, I want to say: chaos and confusion are not from our God. Right? Repeat it. Chaos and confusion are not from our God. And it is not where we sit as children of God.
The chaos and confusion of this season—they cannot bind us.
It does not bind you.
No matter what’s happening in this world, as children of God, we rise above the chaos. We rise above it, and it’s not because we have power in and of ourselves. It is because we have the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, we get past ourselves and our own preferences and our own plans and our own ways. And we join ourselves to His ways and His plan and His purposes, because we have made His vision our vision.
And as leaders in this season, we have to refuse to be distracted by the enemy. We refuse it.
And it makes me think of earlier in my life when I was a ballerina. One of the things that our dance coach would drill us on dealt with our turns. If ballerinas do not find a point of focus in the room, they will spin right off the stage.
And here’s the thing our coach said, “When you are in the curve, you whip your head around as fast as you can to get back to that point of focus.”
And right now, we are in a curve. What I’m saying is we have to whip our head around as fast as we possibly can to get right back to our point of focus.
It’s critical that in the midst of these changes, we go back to the unchanging truth from the Lord to anchor our vision and root our decision making in these timeless purposes that we’ve been created for. The end of the Story has not changed.
Because the end of the Story hasn’t changed, we go on, and we keep moving.
There’s a Hebrew word that is beautiful, and it ruined my life in the best way. The word is hineni (pronounced hee- nay-nee). It means here I am, and you’re really familiar with it. It’s in stories like when God called to Moses from the burning bush and He said, “Moses,” and Moses responded, “Here I am.”
Or when God called out to Samuel in the middle of the night, “Samuel.” And Samuel said, “Here I am.” Or Isaiah who says, “Hineni, here I am.” And it’s such an amazing word because it doesn’t just mean I’m right here.
It’s not only expressing presence, but availability. It could be translated; I’m absolutely focused on you. Or it could also be translated; I’m ready and in agreement.
It’s not just about availability and presence, but also agreement with what God said before they knew what it was going to be. So, they were giving Him their full attention, their total presence, and their complete agreement before they knew what He was going to ask.
When God Says Hineni
There’s something mind blowing about hineni. The most mind-blowing thing about it is that God responds, “Hineni,” to His people in Scripture. Isaiah 58:9 (NIV) says, “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” Hineni.
When we call to this amazing King we serve—the God of the universe—and cry out to Him, He responds, not only with His availability, but with His total presence and agreement for what we ask.
He comes and dwells—He sets up a tent and dwells among us.
So, as we dig into things like vision, especially in this season, we show up because He has already shown up. We show up in agreement—to God, to what His vision is, to what He says—before we even know what that means for us.
Hineni: Here I am, Lord—send me.