January 7, 2013

While You're Waiting

Ok, so I've read Seán's blog post, and Schane's and Kezzia's, and I am moved by the passion, the fervor and the longing to help in foreign lands.

Yet, as I read, I wondered...

Lord, how come I'm not feeling this?

How come, when my best friend immediately bounded up to the front in response to the appeal at GYC to dedicate her life to serving in missions, I had no conviction whatsoever. Not even a twinge. Emotional or otherwise.

And my Jesus just smiled and put His arm around my shoulder, and suddenly I remembered that I work alongside people who are burning out, wearing thin, and getting tired doing the work that is right next door.

The guy in Africa who was doing the work of 5 people? I watched his brother wear out this summer in Ohio doing the work of 4..

For myself, I can't disregard the clear leading of my Lord that I'm right where I need to be. I have way too many evidences that I'm already doing just what He made me to do.

But for those of you who aren't yet, who are still waiting for your someday, please consider spending the  wait time knocking on the doors right next to you..

A returned missionary friend once told me, "If you're not doing it here, you won't do it overseas either."

Never, never for a moment lose sight of your goal... The crying third world needs you so badly.

But consider that the calls come to those who are found working.

And oh, we need you so badly while you're waiting.

11 comments:

  1. Amen! Thank you for sharing, Beth.

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  2. So right. I call that working the dream.

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  3. Beth, this is the key. We need to be working where we are, doing what we can in the place God has called us to right now. At the same time we must never stop looking forward to where God has called us in the future, because we never know when God will make that future present. As one of my AFCOE teacher's once said, "If you can't go across the street and knock on someone's door, then how can you go around the world and knock on someone's door?" Okay, so there aren't so many doors to knock on in Cambodia since the doors are only closed at night or if no one is home, but that's beside the point. ;-)

    I can related to your not-feeling of being called, only mine was opposite of yours. Maybe you sensed this being on a certain post-ME canvassing trip in Texas. I was really struggling with the desire to go and a certain other heart-wrenching situation. Not only did I not feel called to canvassing, I didn't even really enjoy it – although I tried to – and I wondered if something was wrong with me because everyone else seemed so enthusiastic. And yet that was the work God had given me to do at the time, and I am very thankful for that opportunity of service during my waiting time. I think TX was my favorite canvassing trip. And even though I don't feel called to canvassing, I learned many valuable lessons and would do it again. And I certainly would call any waiting young person to canvass, too. It is front-line missionary work, it develops character for eternity, it prepares people for other lines of work, and people out there need the materials.

    Hugs, love, and prayers, Teacher Beth. :-)
    Sara VH

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  4. :) I was aware of that struggle. :) I was not at all surprised when you left for Cambodia because your heart was always there..over the ocean where the need is so great and you fit into that place where you were made to be.

    I think sometimes people get the idea that I love canvassing because I have a built in canvassing gene or something... hah..I wish. Choosing to love canvassing has always been a daily choice for me. I still have to get over the pre-canvassing butterflies just like anybody else. Though with experience, I've learned how to go forward in faith and they usually disappear pretty quickly now.

    I honestly don't know what keeps me coming back to it... It's the people that cry on my shoulder and thank me over and over for coming _that day_, and it's the affirmation from the Lord that 1000 will be converted in a day who trace their first convictions to the reading of our literature, and it's watching young person after young person tell their personal testimony and hearing them say that they found Jesus while they were canvassing, or they learned how to pray, or they started studying their Bible for the first time because they realized that they needed too, it's watching negative, self-centered people discover the joy of cheerfulness and positivity... it's so many, many things. I can truly say I love this work like none other. It's killing me that I won't get to be in a canvassing program until next May or June... I haven't gone this long without canvassing in 7 years, lol.

    But if He called me to overseas work, oh I'd go in a heartbeat Sarah... I just don't understand why I've never felt the urgency that others seem to. Sometimes I've wondered if something weren't wrong with me, or if my spiritual experience was somehow not as deep as others or something...

    Someday I will burn out in this work and I will need a change. After this summer, my poor body already nearly gave out and I spent weeks recuperating from the strain and overload and from hardly sleeping the entire ten weeks... There's just so many needs... So much to be done... So many hurting young people... But maybe before I give out completely He'll call me to a different work for diversion.. I don't know. For now, I know I'm where I'm supposed to be..

    And here I've gone and done all my external processing on you, poor thing, lol. Love you, precious girl!

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  5. So very true, and a good reminder! I am coming under an increasing conviction that God has been trying to teach me just that...It's one thing to want to join in the excitement, to want to help with the need, and to live the life of our romanticized view of frontline overseas missions. It's an altogether different thing to be a missionary at heart. If we aren't missionaries wherever we are, especially in the relative ease of the US, how can we ever expect to do the work overseas? I think that's why I haven't been able to get overseas yet- because God has to get me to the place where He can use me first. He has to make me a missionary at heart, a missionary here in my present surroundings!
    Thanks for the reminder and glad that you are working just where God wants you, because that's the best place to be :-)
    DL

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    1. hmm.. I need that missionary at heart bit too...

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  6. Those thoughts have been going through my mind, too... "If you're not doing it here, you won't do it overseas either."

    Overseas mission is hard work, as I'm realizing more and more (and I'm not even over there!). It's unselfishness, all the time. Living risk, with God's power. And if that's all it is, then we can live that anywhere, to whoever needs it...

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  7. I can relate to your thoughts, There are millions overseas who haven't had an opportunity to hear the gospel message. But how many Christians are there right here in our back yard who don't know what it means to know Christ!

    To be ever drawing closer to Christ is our mission and as we draw to him he will reveal to us His mission!

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    1. mmm...thanks for that thought! it gives me a lot of peace..

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