Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Easier Internationally?

One night last week, Scott and I sat on the porch swing and talked until well past midnight.  We talked about ministry, church, our family, and how we are doing in reaching those around us.  Conversations like this one replay in my mind for days, and I spent time thinking about the direction our life could have gone, the direction our life has gone, and the direction our life will go.

A few years ago, Scott and I applied to the mission board and we were turned down (twice) because of our Scottie and their concern with how she would do in another country.  We believed that we were supposed to transplant our family into another country and simply be us...live life for Christ and as we had interactions with others, we could demonstrate and share the hope of a Savior.  We understood that God placed Scottie in our life, and He is her Creator so if we were told no then it was a no we could accept.  After our second rejection from the mission board, Scott accepted his first ministry calling to help plant a church.  We believed that God had prepared our hearts for ministry, and we were excited to go on the journey.

Last week as Scott and I assessed how things were going, I made the comment that I thought it would be easier to be in another country and minister to those around me.  Living here in our country, in our comfort zone, I realized that we don't reach out to our neighbors.  I work at a Christian school, have Christian friends, serve in a church and have left very little time to minister to the those we are in need...the lost and the hurting.  I fill my days with taking care of My family in My home.  I decide what interactions I want to have and what I am willing to do.  I check off all the appropriate Christian things off of my Christian To Do List.  (I play the part very well.) 

Yet, I am not satisfied.

I am not satisfied because I am not living my God purposed life to its fullest.  I am not satisfied because God designed His children to do more.  He has placed a desire in me to love the lost and hurting and when I do not obey, the Spirit will continue to poke and prod me towards obedience and service.

Perhaps it would be easier to live in another country where my "job" is to love my family and live my life out loud!  Perhaps it would be easier if my only purpose was to share the hope I have with those I encounter.  Perhaps it would be easier if the comforts of "home" were removed.  But I serve a God who is not a God of hypotheticals, but a God of ACTION.  I need to become intentional wherever I live...America or Portugal.  I need to do the things my Father has commanded me to at home, in my neighborhood, and as I go about life.  I need to allow the Spirit to guide me into the uncomfortable because it is there, and only there, that I will find satisfaction!

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

"There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."  Proverbs 23:18

"the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel"  Colossians 1:5

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope"  2 Thessalonians 2:16

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."  Romans 5:5

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