An inconvenient assignment

Note from Kristi Graner

Recently I was having trouble accessing my bank account electronically. Because it was a Friday evening, I was not able to get any help, and I allowed this situation to stress me out.

I was angry at my bank, angry at myself for waiting until Friday night to check into the issue, and angry at Gary (just because he was sitting next to me 😊).

I was finally able to go online to schedule a Saturday morning appointment to go in, and I thought, “WHAT a hassle.”

When I went to the bank the next morning, my attitude was less than delightful. I saw it as a waste of my time and a real problem with my bank.

But as I met with the pleasant young woman who was assigned to help me, she began asking me questions about my “business.” I told her about Dare to Believe Ministries, and she told me that she and her boyfriend had recently moved to the area from out of state. They were looking for a Christian community to connect with. While we chatted, she easily corrected the minor issue with my bank account, and gladly accepted my offer to pray for her.

As I left the bank that day, I realized that this minor, “inconvenient” issue that I allowed to steal some of my peace and joy was actually a Kingdom assignment. 

The Lord allowed that small glitch to happen so that I could be fully present for that young woman who needed a touch from the Lord. She needed to know that God sees her and that there are people for her in her new location. 

felt annoyed with myself for allowing that small issue to get to me!

We have the honor of receiving these assignments because we carry the presence of the Lord. It is our mission to get out into the world and share God’s presence in tangible ways to the people who need Him.

Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17 reflects this sometimes inconvenient assignment.

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” – John 17:22-23 (TLT)

The world is watching. We are carrying God’s presence with us. How well are we doing at representing Jesus accurately to a world that is in upheaval?

During the holiday season, we all want our time to be filled with love, family, peace and joy. However, the holidays can be a difficult time for many people. If you have lost a loved one or are isolated or hurting, this can be a challenging few months. 

We want the holidays to be so special, and when situations and relationships become difficult, we can become sad, annoyed or angry. 

I have also heard from many people who are heartbroken due to relational difficulties stemming from differing opinions and comfort levels regarding Covid and/or the vaccine. I have talked with several people who have been left out, “ghosted” or ignored because of these issues. This is very sad and unfortunate, but it is very real.

People within families are also finding themselves discounted and disconnected from their loved ones based on their opinions about our healthcare and politics.

I know that each of us has the responsibility to go to the Lord about our health and the health of those around us. We have a responsibility to show honor, respect and love: yes, even with those we love who hurt our hearts.

As I was spending time with the Lord and praying about this divisiveness within families, He reminded me of His heart for His family.

There isn’t a person on this earth who wasn’t created in the image of God and who Jesus didn’t die to rescue.

How many times in Scripture did Jesus go to the outcast, the leper, the unwanted ones?

Time after time He walked right into the places where people had been divided and hurtful, even hateful, and He brought love, healing, peace and belonging. He calmed the storm in hearts and lives.

This convicted my heart as I thought about those who are isolated from God’s love because of their choices. How many people do I discount or ignore because they reject Jesus? Even one is too many!

I have renewed my commitment to pick up the inconvenient assignments as the Lord gives them. Simple things like asking “How can I help you?” or letting someone know that “We are for you.”

As we walk through this challenging time in history, let’s get out into our communities and families and connect with those who reject our value system. Who have hurt our hearts. Who don’t know that they need Jesus. How can we send them message that even though they reject our God, He doesn’t reject them?

Honestly, this feels a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of those people out there! I know that we still need to keep healthy boundaries, so I am committed to trust the Lord to send me those assignments when He has them for me, and I will say yes. How about you?

Jesus is our example. He went out and loved the one who was outcast, the one that was challenging, the ones who needed Him. We just need to do what He did. To accept the inconvenient assignments as He sends them to us: to love the one. To speak the truth, but always surround God’s truth in love.

As you and I accept these inconvenient assignments, we are able to do for that one person what we wish we could do for everyone. God will work through us to change the world!

My prayer for you this holiday season is that you will know God’s love and peace in deep and tangible ways. And that when your heart is hurt, you will allow God to bring healing to you. That you will have courage to pick up the inconvenient assignments the Lord sends to you, and that God’s presence will shine brightly through you!

Blessings and love to you!

Psalm 21:7