EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD – ATTEMPT GREAT THINGS FOR GOD
- William Carey
Painted above the entrance of the Carey Baptist Church building in Kolkata, you will read “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God”. It's the wrong way around – and I had to do a google search – just to make sure. I find it quite ironic that somewhere in history –things got changed. Google assures me – it is the 'Expect' first and the 'Attempt' last but it also tells me of other quotes – such as: “Expect great things from God, receive great things from God. Expect little from God, receive little from God.” No need to change that one! Enough said.....
I live a simple life with a simple faith. My faith began as a very young girl in the country I still call home today. I had an amazing childhood – different to most kiwi's – but I remain so grateful for my heritage. You see, I grew up expecting that God would work and saw in my parents the “attempt great things for God” modelled. They, in all humility, would say they didn't attempt great things but their legacy remains with me and what they did do – was model what it meant to serve the One they loved above all else. Walking into their bedroom first thing in the morning or late at night – they would be kneeling together, reading the Word and praying. Their days were always about serving others – and even on the day that my Dad collapsed – they were serving Communion in their second home – amongst their beloved church family, Dad's last words were, “Put a cushion under his head” – his medical care of another the last thing he ever did....a servant until the last.
I often get convicted and challenged and feel plagued internally that I am never doing enough. You see I often get the quote the wrong way round (maybe its too many Sunday's sitting in the pew at Carey walking under that sign...). I'm trying to do things and attempt things on my own strength forgetting that if I actually expected God to break through – then it is all about him and less about me. However, inspite of my feeble attempts at serving others, I do remain hopeful and I do dream and expect God to break through.
You see, I think William Carey did have it the right way round...in placing the expectation on God then I do hope and dream. I dream of a neighbourhood where children can play safely, where little girls can dream of being treated as equals, can dream of a very different future than their mums. I'm reminded of Supie (name changed to protect her) who sat quietly day in and day out as a wee 4 year old whilst her mum worked hard at Freeset. These were the early days, when we had no nursery onsite. When asked what would she like to be when she grew up – the answer was always the same.... “I want to be a Doctor”. Fast forward – she is now 19 and studying nursing – and that gives me such joy!
I dream that the men who swarm into our neighbourhood each day and night might get stopped in their tracks and turn around and go home to their wives and children and treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve. In my expectation from God it seems an impossible dream – but I do dare to dream and maybe, maybe in fact, God is calling me to attempt to pray for the men. So instead of sitting on my verandah, sipping coffee and watching the comings and goings I might be better at calling on the One who can convict, can change hearts and minds.
Maybe as he changes me then I can believe and expect that He will do even more than I could ever dream and hope for....
Article by Annie
Annie serves with one of our freedom businesses in South Asia.