How a small group of volunteers can change the world

Life can often give you more than you think you can handle! When our ministry received large furniture donations, I learned a great life lesson from a little dolly and a little girl. Photo: Photo: Kristi Overton Johnson

Keystone Heights, Fl, December 27, 2011– Recently, our ministry was blessed to receive four 18-wheelers filled with furniture from hotels and offices. As I looked at the mounds of furniture piled in the trucks, I was tempted to become overwhelmed with the task at hand.

How in the world were we going to unload these trucks with so few volunteers, most of which were small children and teens?

As unease began to rise in my spirit, I was met with a huge peaceful smile as the company driver, Rick, came to the back of the truck. He had a song in his heart as he swung opened the doors and climbed inside the truck. How could this man be so at peace and filled with joy when we had all this furniture to unload?

As the first table was handed from the truck, my husband, Tim, grabbed the solid wood table and carried it inside the building. Rick started to smile and said with a chuckle, “I know big man feels strong, but he may want to use those dollies.” It was obvious this wasn’t Rick’s first time unloading. He knew the secret of finishing the task would be to pace ourselves and let the dolly do the work.

Over the course of the next few hours, I watched in amazement as the truck emptied right before my very eyes. Piece by piece, the furniture would make it’s way off the truck, onto the furniture dolly, and then it would be pushed into place inside the store. It was quite a sight to watch my little 9 year old daughter manipulate large pieces of furniture. As I watched my daughter, God began to speak to my heart…”This dolly is like my grace.”

For years I have heard of the grace of God. Grace is God’s giving to us what we do not deserve, giving us something we have not earned. The Bible says that it is by God’s grace that we are forgiven and saved (Eph. 1:7). We aren’t loved and accepted by God because of our good works, rather it is God’s free gift to us all, no matter what we have done in our lives (Eph. 2:5). But what I didn’t realize is that grace is so much more. Not only does God’s grace save us and make us right with God, it also enables us to do what is hard. It enables us to do what we cannot do on our own.

My daughter could not begin to move that furniture if it were not for the dolly. Likewise in life, we must rely on God’s grace to help us do what He has called us to do. So often, we try to make our own way and do things in our own strength. But the problem is, without God’s grace strengthening us, we will not be able to finish the race He has prepared for us to run.

Like Rick (the driver) reminded us to let the dolly do the work, God wants us to remember that through His grace alone, we will have the strength and ability to do anything He calls us to do in life (Phil. 4:13). His grace will enable us to face what is hard (Acts 6:8), His grace will keep us strong to the end (I Cor 1:8), and His grace will give us the gifts we need to do certain things well (Romans 12:6).

Let’s climb aboard the dolly of grace. Let’s refuse to cut ourselves off from grace! Galatians 5:4 says we sever ourselves from God’s grace when we seek to rely on our own works, our performance, and our own strength. Grace is our power and strength!

Life is tough. We all have many 18-wheelers to “unload” every single day! Don’t lose heart, don’t grow discouraged. God is with you; His dolly of grace is right in front of you ready to help you do what you cannot do on your own. In fact, II Corinthians 12:9 says that His power works best in our weakness… so tap into it, and come boldly to His throne of grace. It is there that you will find all that you need, when you need it most (Hebrews 4:15)!

Isaiah 26:12: All I’ve accomplished-you have done for me!


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Kristi Overton-Johnson

 

As a professional water skier for over 20 years and the World Record Holder in women’s slalom from 1992-2010, Kristi Overton Johnson has taken to the waters of the world with passion and perseverance. Kristi began her waterskiing career at the age of 4 and turned professional at 13. For 15 years, Kristi dominated women’s slalom, accumulating 80 professional wins and capturing more number one world rankings than any other female skier in history.
Before retiring from professional sports, Kristi founded a non-profit water sports ministry In His Wakes. Since its inception, In His Wakes has touched the lives of over 10,000 at-risk youth across the nation and internationally. This unique ministry brings hope, healing and encouragement through the avenue of water sports and through the message of God's love.
For years, Kristi has travelled nationally and internationally as a faith-based motivational speaker encouraging people through her life experiences as an athlete, wife, mother and ministry leader. Kristi also ministers through song and through her gift as a writer. In Running the Course, her first book, she wrote about her experiences as a top professional athlete and how through faith she found purpose for her life. 
Although Kristi is committed to helping others achieve their God-given destinies, she realizes that her first priority is her family. Kristi has been married to best friend Tim Johnson since 1994. Tim and Kristi have three children, the youngest of which were both adopted from Russia in 2004. They reside in North Florida where they raise their family and serve their community through Kristi Overton Johnson Ministries

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