Today the fog never left the mountain tops. It has been a cold morning with the threat of rain looming, and I have hidden away in my little sanctuary of a room...stealing a few hours to myself. I can't help but feel the twinge of guilt as I sit here and write...this is a battle I fight in my heart and mind so often: there is always so much to do and never enough hours to do it in.
This week we had an incredible team from Bay Community Church. Out of all the groups that come to serve with us...this church is most like HPC. They have incredible hearts to serve and their work is backed up by a spirit of excellence that is hard to find in this world. After a full day's work we were all sitting around talking about what we saw...just decompressing. We ended up on the subject of obedience, and how important it is to be obedient to the call God has given us...and how important it is to figure out what that is. Sometimes people come to the mission field and leave with a sense of guilt...that their lives are too blessed...and I want so much to tell them that they are blessed to be a blessing...they are a pipeline from God to those who don't yet know Him.
Anyway...that night I remembered something I learned a long time ago. Kim Braud was teaching a missions class for the Elevate interns. She asked us to write down the reasons we thought we were being called to the mission field. We all began scribbling in our notebooks, writing down all the honorable reasons we thought we should "Go therefore..." After a few minutes, she said...and I am totally paraphrasing since it has been almost 2 years since I was in this class...if you wrote down anything else besides "to be obedient to God" then you need to check yourself.
I thought my answers were pretty good...you know...meeting the needs of the people, showing the love of Christ...etc, etc...all the good things that people think missionaries do.
But Kim had a point. She was trying to get us to realize that if you go to the mission field (whatever that looks like in your life) with the idea that YOU are going to meet the needs of the people - you will be overwhelmed by those needs. If you go with the selfish ambition that YOU are going to do some good - then you will be overtaken by the enemy. BUT if you go because God told you to go - then His grace will be sufficient to keep you there...and just maybe you will bring HIM glory.
So...back to the battle I fight on a regular basis...you may be familiar with this one as well...how do you come up against all of the needs that you face every day? In the States, there is a bit of a buffer between daily life and the harsh needs of the poor, but here...they are in your face all of the time. You see them, you touch them and you definitely smell them...and my heart breaks for them...and then breaks again when I realize that I can't do anything for them except put one foot in front of the other and walk that path that God has laid out for me.
Be encouraged...the BEST and most amazing thing you can do in this life is to live the life God intended for you to live. To catch it like a football and run like crazy for the end zone...giving a stiff arm to anything that tries to divert you from the goal.
So, how do I fight the overwhelming needs surrounding me? I remember that my first responsibility is to the Lord...to be true to Him. Then I swallow hard and take responsibility for the things that He has put on my plate. Is it hard? Yes. Is is a lot of work? Yes. Do I always feel confident that I can do it? No. Does He show up? EVERY TIME!!!