A missionary friend in South America recently shared the following:
It’s true. The journey we all face can seem like a battle.
This is a great reminder that we are all missionaries.
When looking at life and the struggles we face, let me share with you truths about the struggles that we all face … They amplify! In fact, as Christians, they amplify things in 3 ways:
- How inadequate we are.
- How much a big deal our problems seem, and when we finally come around to it…
- How big our God is.
Sure, we equate the mission field to some exotic location, but the actual mission field is not a place of hurt, but a place that amplifies the struggles we are facing. THIS is the place, believe it or not, where God can use us the most.
Now, how and why does this happen?
Comfort zones are strange things, aren’t they? It’s amazing that when we feel comfortable in a place, where life just seems at rest and easy — even in the midst of difficulties. But when we escape our cushy areas, the same difficulties seemingly get bigger and bigger than they actually are.
We’ve all been there: You’re child is having fun singing/yelling “FROZEN” at the top of their lungs. It’s cute… the first time around. But imagine that you are driving down the road, your lost, without cell signal or data, and you don’t know where you are… during that time you just need to focus. If your child is screaming “Let it go” at this point, it’s not as cute in the moment, is it?
Or another example: when our children continue to disobey you for the 15th time today, to continue doing what you’re asked them not to do over and over and over… It might not even be a big thing. It might even just be something simple like continually touching a potted plant — that to you is fragile. But, to them, is a fun “play toy.” In your mind, you imagine a broken plant or potting soil all over the place. Are they really going to hurt themselves? No. Does the plant matter more than them? Absolutely not. But their repetitive disobedience is mind numbing! At that moment, to what seems like the “billionth” time they are doing what you’ve ask them not to, you will probably lose your cool. The little thing they are doing is amplified in the heat of the moment.
When out of our comfort zone, our honest, true and real life struggles feel more real than when in our squishy, nested areas of life.
The Solution: Learn to see our situations as God sees them
The good news is that God is with us throughout our struggles; we just have to open our eyes to view it as glorious in the midst of pain and heartache. Allow your missions experience to take you past yourself all the way to number 3 and remind you of how good God truly is, how beautiful are the people sharing in that journey (colleagues and family), and wonderful the lives we get to all touch along the way, sharing the good news of a God that loves us all the same.
The truth is that God takes us all along a path to tell of His story — that is why we do what we do, right? It’s not about what we can get or attain, but it should ALL go back to give Him our everything.
I will close with this…
The struggles that we face often seem harder for us, while easier for others. Others seems to have it easy… but don’t be fooled. I know what you do. You look on Facebook and see others going on trips with their family, or having a wonderful time while you feel stuck where you are. You feel like they get to live it up while you have to deal with the terrible mess in your lap.
That path that we are on… it’s true, some have more interesting scenery along the way. Some are traveling the journey in exotic locations, missionaries around the world in their own right. But remember this: I can either stay jealous of their scenery through the eyes of my problems, or I can choose to come back to reality and be blessed where God has me in my moment, knowing that my beautiful scenery is all around. There is deeper beauty to come down the path God has me on. I just need to open my eyes to see it.
Allow God to change your change the view of your situation, by reminding ourselves of how big God is, how much we need him, and that He can be glorified despite our inadequacies. Truly, in ALL life’s ups and downs, to God be the Glory. We just need to daily refocus our view, to see our lives as God sees them.
To hear more from Josh, and his wife, Jen, visit www.ProjectFaithJourney.com.