I know a lot of missionaries think stories about how they save lives are the only ones worthy to make it onto the ministry blog postings. But sometimes it feels like too much to carry on at that level of intensity and I know it must be painful to read as well. If the joy is in the journey then what about the path to righteousness? Many days are a grueling battle against language barrier, physical limitations and sheer lack of resources. Paul explains it best in 2 Corinthians 7:5
“For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn–conflicts on the outside, fears within.” (emphasis added)
When we see things through a solid grid of our own insufficiency it is almost as dangerous as viewing things through rose colored glasses. In the first we make ourselves the center, in the second we aggrandize the poor. Both leave Christ as a distant light casting a shadow of goodness on the scene but without any real personal involvement. We know what He did on the cross. We know we are His instruments of righteousness and justice in the world. But we live and move and have our being as if Almighty God is seeing it all from a distance.
Can it be that a personal God, our Abba Father, sees it all and understands the frustrations we have at not being able to do more or wishing we were better people?
The children of Israel worshiped other Gods. They made idols out of wood and stone that looked like people, animals and birds. But even though those images had eyes, they could not see. Even though those carvings had ears they could not hear. I don’t want to make that same mistake. Don’t make God too hard, too small or too far away. He is – listening, seeing, feeling, knowing. But more than that, He is acting. Being all loving is nice, but it’s just pie-in-the-sky without real power to back it up.
We serve, partner with and worship a God who is doing something. In us, in the people we are trying to minister to, in the thoughts, wills, emotions, and circumstances of all of us; God is at work. I am convinced that we are not equipped to judge the eternal significance of what we do. I believe God’s grace is retroactive and proactive and impactive.
Let’s trust the God who called us. Let’s keep speaking His Word. Let’s keep being his hands. Let’s keep doing His will. People need to hear that in our blog posts. Ultimately it is not about us or even about those we serve. It is about God. And He cannot exist without bringing Glory to His name. That is just who He is.