There was a break in the rain long enough for me to enjoy my lunch hour outside in the town square today. Because of the fear of torrential downpour and my tardiness in taking my lunch hour, I was completely alone in a sea of empty tables and chairs. It was a windy day and surprisingly chilly for a July day. As I pulled my hair back from the wind, my mind wandered to a familiar and oft frequented place; to daydreams of adventure in faraway places, evangelism, people experiencing renewal and redemption through the touch of God. A few minutes prior, I had stumbled across an article by a World Race participant on Facebook that had recounted an experience she had in India where she had come face-to-face with a woman who was literally running from God and had watched as God eagerly pursued her until she had, despite her struggle to stay away, fallen into His loving arms and asked for His salvation.
Staring out at the empty courtyard, I remembered the tears that had come to my eyes as I visualized this experience. A familiar ache rose up in my chest as I thought about it. There was a part of me, born years ago, that unceasingly longed for experiences like that young woman’s. I wanted to see God work miracles of redemption in people’s lives. More than that, I wanted to walk through foreign countries – scary places and places that I knew little of – and see God do His amazing grace-filled work through my willingness and closeness to HIm. There was no desire more strong in my life than that one, though from a wiry bench in a paved courtyard in the middle of a nowhere town in Ohio, with a heart that felt far from capable of chasing that dream, it seemed like a vision, a longing, a desire that was much greater than reality. Much greater than me.
Blinking to dispel the tears that had returned to my eyes, I turned my heart to the only one who knew exactly how I felt at that moment. God, will you answer this call of my heart? I cried out to Him in my heart, leaning forward to settle my elbows on my knees and stare at the ground thoughtfully. How do I hope for that which seems so impossible from where I am right now?
In that moment, a small speck of movement below me on the pavement caught my eye. Directly in front of me, there was an ant moving steadily across the pavement. Normally, I wouldn’t have even noticed – ants aren’t usually much more than part of the background. But this ant, small as he was, was doing something extraordinary.
He was crawling backwards across the ground at a surprisingly quick rate, dragging with him a rock that was at least 5 times his size.
This ant is capable of carrying a burden and accomplishing a feat that is far greater than he is, because I designed him to do it.
The thought was as clear as day in my head, straight from God. With it came a prevailing sense of peace and an understanding of the complete acceptance and love of my Father in heaven. Though I felt incapable, He was confident in how he had designed and created me. He had placed these desires in my heart, not to torture me, but to prepare me for the work that He wanted us to do together. And, because He had strategically placed that desire there, He had also equipped me to walk it out.
From that windy, wet, concrete and glass-filled courtyard in the middle of nowhere, Ohio to the jungles and villages of faraway, foreign places… He had written the plan and would provide the resources to see it through.