This is a picture I took of my dearest friend/neighbor holding a globe. Really? You didn't know that was a globe?! Let's just say I'm talented at stating the obvious. Anyway, the story behind it is that she is soon leaving for Australia to work in a YWAM birthing center for a year. One whole year of missing my dear Orissa...sigh. How exciting it will be to hear her God-stories, though! How awesome it will be to pray for her as she brings life in more ways than one into this aching world!
Along those lines, my sister-in-law is also leaving in a week for the mission field. She will be attending a missions school in India for six weeks. I can't wait to hear about what God is doing in India as well! Both of them are setting up a blog and I know I'll be on them every day.
I can't wait to hear exciting news from the mission field, but do you want to know the real truth? The real truth is that I want to be the one going. I have always desired to be a foreign missionary. When I was five years old my favorite story was about a missionary named Amy Carmichael. I admire that woman so greatly. I always wanted to follow that calling. I just knew I was supposed to be a missionary.
I do know that where I live is a huge, hurting mission field in itself and I am called to be a missionary wherever I am, but at the same time I just can't explain away my passion for the nations. Sometimes the longing to be on a foreign field becomes so great I start becoming discontent with where I am. My conversations with God begin to sound like this,
"God, why are we still here? When are you going to give us clear direction on where to go? You know we aren't going to take this step without you. We're just waiting on you, God."
And then his response,
"And I'm just waiting for you to be content with where you are."
Oh boy. I was afraid he'd say that. Being content is not very easy for me. I can be joyful, but to be content? That would mean I would have to stop striving and wishing and wanting and longing for what I don't have and even for what I'm not.
"Okay, God, what are you saying to me? I'm listening."
"What you do for me doesn't define who you are, I define who you are."
"Oh, wow. Thank you for helping me understand this, Lord. Help me remember it."
I'm always desperately wanting to DO something for God and somehow that DOING begins to DEFINE me. Don't get me wrong, doing good works is important, faith without works is dead. But it's when we begin to define ourselves by what we are doing FOR God, instead of what HE has already done and WHO HE IS within us that we begin to lose sight of the simple message of Christ.
I'm studying what Paul wrote here:
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4: 12-13So what's the secret to being content? It is the knowledge that I can do everything through him. Only through Jesus. It is IN him that I find contentment. He is my I AM.
**To read more of this conversation I had with God, you can click here.