Why, as an introvert, would I join Cru, one of the most evangelistic movements in the world?
In college, I was so shy, it was hard for me to buy things in stores. As soon as a clerk said, “May I help you?” I retorted, “No… just looking.” I may have known exactly what I wanted, but in that moment, I could not get the words out.
A year later, I was part of a movement that had us walking up to strangers, asking if they had “ever heard of the Four Spiritual Laws.” I did it, but I wasn’t ever comfortable.
After serving seven years (painful for me in my shyness), we left for 4 years in business. But then, the Lord called us again to serve, and I struggled. God created me, and I was shy. We were also no longer college students. Why would he call us back into this movement?
Enter Psalms 71.
I won’t go through it phrase by phrase but just highlight key verses.
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
I had come to know Christ young, memorized scriptures, and as long as I didn’t have to speak in public about my faith, I was comfortable with letting my faith go deep.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
I wouldn’t call 30 “old age” but we now had three children and certainly felt we had entered a new era of life. Life was so chaotic, sometimes I had to pick between bathing the kids or taking a shower myself! Cru felt like college students, and I wondered if I could keep up.
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wonderous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come… You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
Cru’s emphasis was leading the next generation to Christ. I was sitting, with babies on my knee, desiring them to know Christ, desiring others to know Christ. His promise to me, in the midst of my shyness, was to be with me, never forsake me, and comfort me.
That was enough. I signed up again. That was 40 years ago. Some people are surprised to hear how shy I was because I learned to take initiative, became convinced that if the Lord was telling me to say something, it was sin for me to hide it within myself. And God has been there to comfort me as Roger and I both increased in responsibility.
Sometimes God asks us to do things outside our comfort zone. But he has promised his presence to go with us. What more do we need than to trust him?