As humans, and more specifically, as Christians, we are constantly learning and growing. The process of prepping to “Go” (Matthew 28:18-20) will stretch you to the point of feeling like you just repeated K-12 all over again; There is so much to learn.
Following the will of God and entering into the mission field is not always a walk in the park. Often, you will learn the power of humility and showing honor before you even board a plane. Sometimes the process will really suck and leave nasty bruises. Sometimes your family and closest friends will question your sanity and convince themselves that you’ve been brainwashed. Sometimes you will question whether God really is who He says He is.
Keep trusting Jesus anyway
(You’re just in the fire, and it’s the best place for you)
Jesus is able to turn your worst nightmare into the most satisfying and wonderful experience of your entire life. Before He does that, He has the tendency to throw you in the fire for a little while. Don’t worry, He is still good, but usually He has to burn off the bad stuff while he purifies and strengthens the good already in you. He’s preparing you for the mission He is calling you to, so do not retreat into helplessness and defeat.
Kick the devil in his stupid face
Embrace the burn
When God first called me into missions I was a senior in college, and was in the middle of a rebellion against Him. This “calling” smacked me in the face with confusion because I was in no spiritual condition to serve Him anywhere except on my knees in tears. My knees hit the floor often that year. I made a lot of stupid mistakes, but it still didn’t stop God from calling me to His greater purposes.
I was sort of like a “Peter,” but definitely worse.
I was foolish, doubtful, and double-minded. I needed a good kick in the pants, so God threw me in the fire for a very long time. Even though I was a mess, it did not disqualify me from His sovereign plan for my life. Jesus is so nice!
For months I fought with God about all of this. I was angry that He was sending me to some foreign country I had no desire to go to, and it felt like He was ruining my life.
I had plans of my own. I was about to graduate college, and run toward my goals. I wanted to succeed in my career and make a lot of money – You know… the American dream… the normal thing to do. While processing all of this, I was plagued by the question,
What is normal?
Think about it, why does normalcy have to be to get a degree, get a good job, get married and start a family? I decided that if I wanted to whole heartedly follow Jesus wherever then I needed to stop embracing the normalcy of the world, and start embracing the normal Christian life – Jesus’ way.
Easier said than done.
If you are considering entering the mission field, people will undoubtedly think you are the most insane and delusional person on the planet.
Their words will sting, and you might be tempted to believe some of those lies, but remember that you are nothing that they say you are.
Oftentimes, people’s hateful remarks are only a byproduct of their own hurts, frustrations, and misunderstandings of who God is. In other instances, people really are genuinely worried about you, but don’t know how to vocalize their concerns without a temper. Your decision can be a lot for some people to take in. Give them some time. They may never understand, but chances are they will learn to accept it.
No matter the occasion for hurtful words or interactions, you do not have to wear their words like a coat. Instead, clothe yourself with truth of who God says you are.
Remember that there is always a better way…
A better way to love
A better way to communicate
A better way to deal with conflict
Let go of your pride, and assume the best in people
Don’t write them off, and choose to forgive
Honor those who spew venom at you, and choose to love them
When following Jesus wherever, you will quickly realize that His seemingly horrible plans are really just the deepest desires of your heart that you didn’t even know existed. Choose to trust Him even when it doesn’t make sense. I assure you that He is not ruining your life. Rather, He is making your wildest dreams come alive.