My heart is full of love. We are home from Japan for three months and we are taking this time to freely travel and visit many friends and family who are spread out over the mid-west. This has been a time of rest and deep appreciation. I am so grateful for this time the Lord has given us with our community. It has been a type of sabbatical for my heart.
We have only been back for a few weeks and already I feel so refreshed and renewed. I am quite suprised that we have had this opportunity, actually. I wouldn't have considered us "burnt out" or "worn out" so the notion of a "sabbatical" almost seems undeserved. In my mind only life-long "missionaries" or pastors get this much time off. But....maybe that is what we are. Maybe we are all just that...missionaries or pastors. Not that you or I may necessarily be under these titles in the worlds eyes but I think we are in His eyes. He asks that all of us see our path with the purpose of making Him known. A pastor is no more "closer" to God than a plumber if they are both being obedient to the Lord's calling on their life.
It's funny to me how we lift pastors and missionaries above all other "ministries"(jobs). Yes, these people are incredible and amazing but they are just the same as accountants or teachers who love the Lord....they are people seeking Him. I write this because we are asked a lot if what we are doing is "mission work". I always reply yes, even though it may not be "officially" (by the world's standards) titled that. Jason and I are following the Lord's calling. We are seeking to make Him known in every aspect of this journey on which He has walked with us. I am sad for those who think they are some how less holy or righteous because they aren't in "ministry". Where ever the Lord has you....that is your ministry. Being in ministry is a wonderful thing...and I challenge you to think about the definition of ministry.
The world is large and lost. There is pain EVERYWHERE. There is sadness and tears in many a crevice of the world's heart. The world needs the Body of Christ to love it. It is not the job of just missionaries or pastors. It is the calling of all of those who love Him. There is an aching world and I look upon it and many times, feel defeat. I want to love others as deeply as Christ has loved me but I get stuck in my own agenda, judgement, and sin; and it cripples me. I doubt. I judge in my heart. I analyze with my own wisdom which, according to 1 Corinthians, isn't much and I would have to agree. So....that is when He shows me that I have tried to love on my own. That is when He shows me I have stepped out from under the shadow of His wings. That is when He shows me that I can only love through His power, through the Holy Spirit...through Him. I am learning. I must remember not to get frustrated with the process. I desire to have the patience of Moses, who waited 80 years before stepping into his purpose. I desire to wait on the Lord and be trained by Him until He says I am ready. Ready for what? I'm not sure but I will wait when He tells me to wait and I will go when He tells me to go.
So....where do I start....where do you start....where do we start. We pray. It's the only thing we can do when we are unsure of where to go. The only thing when we doubt and have nothing left to give. However, just as much as we talk....we must listen. And He is speaking. You hear Him. Remember who HE, HIM, I AM has made you. He wants to talk with you about that. We want instant results from the Lord....well, at least I do. But I have to remember what He says about His timing....."The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness." 2 Pet. 3:9 So, I will pray that you would please pray with me for the movement of His Holy Spirit across His lands. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayers and direct your heart and please pray for me that I may also pray with you and that the Holy Spririt would guide my prayers and heart.
My heart is full.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each another and forgive whatever grievances you may have with one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. " -Colossians 3:12-14 (the verses after that are really great too :) )
3 months ago