I have known for a long time that God had a unique plan for me. I can still remember the first time I felt God calling me to the mission field. At that time, I had no idea he was also calling me to be a teacher as well. One of the missionary families supported by my church gave a presentation on their work and I was engrossed. I was only about 9 years old, but I could feel God tugging at my heart and almost whispering that he had the same kind of experiences in mind for me. For many years I struggled with that idea. To be honest, there are times I still struggle with that idea. Sometimes I feel quite bipolar about this calling.
Some days, I simply cannot wait for the day he calls me to begin the adventure. I find myself becoming rather impatient and trying to run on ahead of his plans. (That works well let me tell you.) Teachers ask the all too famous question for any teacher candidate, “Why do you want to be a teacher? What do you plan to do with your degree?” and on and on. At these times, I love to share my reasons and my plans- sometimes…I will admit it comes from my want for recognition. Other times it is simply because I want people to be encouraged and to see how God can use us in the most interesting ways.
Other days, it scares me. There are times I am scared to tell anyone about what God has called me to do. What if I fail? What if it isn’t his calling and it is just something I want out of my life? (This I have struggled with often). Then I get into the process of thinking where he could possibly send me and I think:
What if He calls me into a place where war is about to be declared? What if He leads me into a desperate place where I have no answers to all the pain and suffering around me? What if I’m with Him in one of the literal darkest, most frightening places on the planet? What if something serious happens to me while I am there? What about my family? What if…..
And then oddly enough on these days, God brings a sense of peace over me…. and as terrifying as following God’s calling seems to me sometimes, my soul simply says, “Yes, God. Yes. Even if I have to go to the scariest place I can imagine, even if the world literally starts to crash down around me, even if I never see the people I love again, even if something happens to me or I cannot provide all the answers for the people I will be trying to reach. My heart and my soul are here for You to use.”
Who is the Gospel for, if not the most desperate?
What is the Gospel made for, if not the most dire situation?
When is the Gospel to ever find a more perfect time than people looking for a miracle from God?
I’ve realized that skirting the dangers for my benefit is not what the Gospel demands.
I believe God is sending his army- including me to those who need to be shown His enduring love and that in those times of doubt and sheer frailty, Satan is doing everything he can to keep us (me) out.
I’ve struggled for years with the idea that I am not the strongest Christian out there- and actually what really defines a “strong Christian” anyway? I struggle with prayer and I struggle with sharing the Gospel through words. And Satan has tried his hardest to use those weaknesses against me in my mind. But I am not going to let him win. Even if I am not the best evangelist, I care for people and I show them love through actions. Even if I am not the best at praying, God knows my heart even if I can’t speak the “right” words. Therefore, I believe that I’m ready to go wherever and whenever He calls, to do whatever He says, and to lose all of myself in the process. I am not afraid of what lies ahead because of the One who has gone before, the ONe who lies within.
If Jesus is close to the brokenhearted, He is in every aspect of the place he decides to send me. And He wants to put a voice to his presence. He’s sending me. And though I don’t know when and I still struggle with patience and doubt in His timing, I will still trust. And though tomorrow might bring disappointment, I still will trust. And though tomorrow might bring jubilation, I still will trust. And though tomorrow might bring war and famine and poverty, and widows, and orphans, and death, I still will trust.
God is never giving up. He’s pursuing His children with all He has. Declarations of war do not surprise Him. Human weakness does not stop him and neither do those matter. He is bringing His light in the midst of darkness, His comfort admits the carnage, His truth against the lies.
God is so much bigger than war, failure, famine, doubt, and all the other fears and dangers that could await me wherever He sends me. Jesus, much more powerful than the echelons of man. Holy Spirit, more tenacious than any army.
And with that in mind, my soul and my heart are at peace. I will be at peace even though it scares me to death sometimes. Tomorrow, come what may, I know God has a plan. And whether I am jetting towards the place He has called me for in days, months, years…..God is already there. He always has been. He always will be. But He’s going to let me be a part of it. He’s giving me the gift of making my life count. Not in the spotless halls of corporate wealth, but in the dirt and mud, holding onto the ones He loves. He’s never letting go of them or me.
Come what may, He’s never letting go.