28 Mar An Answer to Prayer
Is it not a sobering thought to think of all the pieces that are fitting together in your life to get you where you are today? Recently I have had the time to look at how God has brought me through so many places and relationships to get me where I am at right now. I hate to admit that I can be a very impatient person. God definitely answers prayers but often times it is not at the impatient snapping of our fingers. How can we be so bold to assume that we know the right time for the things that we need or want? Paul reminded the church of Philippi that “it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose” (Phil 2:13).
I am at a season of life where I am dumbfounded by God’s grace to give me the desires of my heart in an answered prayer. Do you ever forget that as a believer the Holy Spirit lives with you and that He knows you more intimately than any human could ever dream of? My God knows the desires of my heart and my innermost thoughts because He made me!
God has given me the desire to be one of his workers in his harvest. My God has given me strengths, gifts and even used my weaknesses over the years in preparation to cross cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers to share his name with those who have never heard the true gospel. My journey to accept a missionary position did not happen overnight, rather God has been shaping me for this work for years. I do not have space in this blog to share all the details but I do want to share how God has wired me to fit with a people group across the world that I didn’t know existed a few weeks ago.
In a few months I will be uprooting my life in South Carolina to move to a place where the people do not know that Jesus died to pay for the penalty of their sins and to have a personal relationship with them. One of my weaknesses in sin is to somehow think that my good deeds will earn the approval of God or score some extra love. I have to repent of this evil thought daily and allow the Spirit to renew my mind with the good news of what Jesus accomplished on the cross! God loves me intimately because of what Jesus has done for me and not because of my offerings and good deeds. God has positioned me in such a way that I can speak truth to someone who is deeply lost in trying to earn God’s favor for salvation.
In my youth God sent me to different countries of the world to show me poverty and lostness to which I wasn’t accustomed to by living in a suburb in the Bible Belt. Through college God continued to show me the absolute need for proclaiming the gospel which is far greater than any humanitarian aid. Doing short term missionary trips birthed in me a love for languages. I was able to continue learning Spanish while I was being theologically trained at North Greenville University. Since college I have had opportunities offered to me that I probably wouldn’t have pursued on my own that gave me a lot of time with international peoples in the United States. Furthermore, as a Generation LINK Resident I have the privilege to work at my home church in ministry to my community as a missionary to hispanic people. It is not a coincidence that some of the men and women that I have the opportunity to spend time with now are originally from the country that I will be serving full-time in a few months. To add a cherry on top, one of the things that makes me happy is to enjoy a good cup of coffee. There are many countries in the world that do not share my love of this beverage to which I was willing to sacrifice for the sake of the gospel. A small price to pay. Wouldn’t you know that God is sending me to a place where the people I will be ministering to are coffee farmers. God knows me intimately.
My intention in writing this blog was to encourage you. I have been praying for years that God would send me as a full-time missionary. As you can see from a brief account of my life that there were many things that God needed to show me, let me experience, and learn before I was commissioned. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is that you do not need to have the title of missionary on your resume before you are being a disciple-maker. Do not be discouraged with the season of life that you are in now. God has a purpose for why you are there. I encourage you to tell yourself the gospel daily and repent of your sins daily. Let the Spirit of God lead you where he wants you and trust that full dependance in him is the best place to be.
- Pray for the people group that I will be serving to have ears to hear the gospel.
- Pray for my family and friends to be encouraged in the gospel during our bittersweet parting.
- Pray for me that I will be content exactly where I am at now as God continues to mold me into a faithful disciple.