“Please send someone else. “
“Is it right for you to be angry…?” “It is, and I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
“I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That’s why I ran off…”
“I have had enough, Lord.”
At some point along this journey I have uttered these words (or at least thought them). During the first three weeks of our time in Richmond, there had been one unexpected challenge or unmet expectation after another. Combine that with being unsettled, exhausted and a bout of severe insomnia (about 5 hours of sleep in 72 hours)…Yeah. I’d had enough.
But, before you judge me.
You need to know that these words were first uttered by powerful, memorable, although, somewhat reluctant men who were used by God. Moses, who split the Red Sea, and led over 1 million Israelites to freedom, uttered the first phrase. Jonah, the man responsible for preaching a message that led to the repentance and salvation of a nation, said the second two. And Elijah, the man who successfully challenged 7000 prophets of Baal, predicted a drought and effectively prayed for its end, and rode off into heaven in a chariot of fire led by horses of fire (for goodness sake!), said the last. Yeah, I’d say, I’m in good company.
What I have learned over the last few weeks is to just hang on. The fog does clear. Joy really does come in the morning. Joy, not to be confused with happiness. Our circumstances have not changed significantly, but my attitude has. Joy and hope has replaced the anger, despair and frustration that I felt. My trust has shifted as I focus more on God’s purpose in the madness, and not the madness. That has made the difference.
In spite of their frustrations, the men above did some pretty amazing things. And God didn’t change a single one of their circumstances. Moses still led a bunch of rebellious, distrusting people. Elijah still had to go into hiding and trust God to provide in unconventional ways. God still chose to spare a nation of people that Jonah didn’t like. But, in each of their assignments they saw God do things that they never would’ve seen if they chose the safe, easy way out. I guess I’ll stay.
Learning to be a less reluctant missionary,
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