What pleases the Lord? What has he asked ME to do? Am I doing it? Where's my focus? This post reminds me when I start to get distracted ...
“Send me!” I pleaded, eager to serve Jesus. “Whatever it is, please use me!” I imagined He might send me across the country, maybe into the mission field, maybe into business … surely somewhere exciting. I could hardly wait.
Each time I asked, He would point me back to my kids. I continued to crane my neck, straining to see greener pastures on the other side of the fence. He continued to patiently point me back to my little ones. There is no denying it; I’m called to be a mother right now. No business, no real estate, but focused on my children.
It is here in the mission field I’m confronted with my false beliefs and unrealistic expectations of what ministry looks like. Apparently I’ve believed that mission work is glamorous – meant for those who are mature in their walk with Christ, and that mission workers are showered daily in peace, joy, a deep sense of purpose, continuous success and general ease. This false picture I had, for some reason, also includes fanfare – the respect and admiration of many people who see and recognize my work.
Ha! Get out of here, lies! If mine is any indication, the picture of mission work is quite different. While I do have the daily assurance of hope and peace, I’m also confronted with temptation, sin, my own resistance and the resistance of others. The enemy is ‘prowling, looking for someone to devour’, and is battling against me with powerful schemes and lies trying to defeat me and those in my care. Mission work is not the warm, fuzzy peaceful endeavor I thought it was. It is, instead, heart searching, mind blowing, vigorous spiritual work that requires my absolute dedication to Christ and His call. And, all of this while enduring persecution, judgment and invisibility.
Nowhere in God’s word does it say we will have a life of ease. In fact, we’re promised the opposite. “Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you” (John 15:20) If we’re in God’s will, following Christ’s leading, we will suffer and will have difficulties. This life of following Christ is hardly glamorous or easy. It is work.
Thankfully, the One Wise God knows me and what I can handle. He knows my need to be humble and has wisely assigned me a place of giving and humble service. My God knows how to train me and will teach me what I need to know. Now to the work of trusting His plan, obeying, and holding strong to my purpose in Him. When I focus on Jesus and His call for my life, the selfish dreams and ambitions I once had begin to fade. Trouble, persecution and difficulty also seem unimportant when I’m looking only at Jesus. It’s true that “all things that surround become shadows in the light of (Jesus)” I just need to keep my eye on the call.
“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.
He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour”
1 Peter 5:8
“Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’
Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.” John 15:20