The Gift of Service

Most of my readers know that I have recently been on a trans-continental trip with the intent of teaching English as a second language. I have been careful in writing regarding this trip because of the sensitively of this area of the world. Thus, direct references to people or places must be avoided. Please forgive the somewhat ambiguous nature of this post, understanding that these limitations are a necessary caution for the sake of God’s continuing work shedding light in dark places. Nevertheless, I am compelled to share the light of His provision and love in my life through this trip. Therefore, I endeavor to write a brief, personal account.

I love to travel. I am an adventurer. Perhaps that is the result of years as a gypsy MK trekking back and forth from homeland to overseas throughout my childhood. No doubt it is partially a direct result of God’s passion in me to reach the uttermost ends of the earth with His good news. However, admittedly, sometimes my wanderlust is a deterrent  from surrender to His direction, because I find within my own heart a desire to travel, to see new places, to help the destitute, and I am quick to embark without truly allowing God to direct.

And so, before this trip, God really impressed upon my heart the need to pray for His guidance, and to wait on Him rather than carve my own path. As I prepared to go, I received very little direct information from my boss about the actual trip. People asked what specific ministry I would be involved in and I was forced to give brief generic answers, because I honestly didn’t know exactly what I would be doing. When someone asked where I was going, I couldn’t even answer that question with much detail, knowing only the name of a city somewhere in the midst of a very large country, and even that destination changed somewhere along the planning process, without my knowing.

My tickets were secured as a direct flight with no layover in any exotic city much to my chagrin. (Furthermore, a direct flight meant almost 15 hours straight on a jet! Not exactly my style of adventure.) God kept reminding me in ways little and big that this trip was designed by Him and would be directed by Him. Whatever I had to offer in the way of talents, abilities or personality was to be laid upon the alter of His sovereignty. Whatever expectations I had for adventure, and enjoying new things must also be surrendered to His divine plan.

Thus I embarked on a journey with God, knowing only that His purpose in and through me would be enough. Here is an excerpt from what I wrote while on this journey:

What has God used me for here? I don’t know. What I have offered, where I have served, has been simple. Anyone could do it. God is showing me again, that it is not what I have to offer. It is what He chooses to do IN me, and THROUGH me.

“I know this trip is a dream God gave me a long time ago–one that He allowed to grow in me and now has brought to fruition. His heart for the world, for the dark corners, is being formed in me. His glory expressed in small pockets in the midst of that darkness, is having a powerful impact on my understanding of God and desire for Him. It’s a quiet journey within my heart, and yet it makes me want to shout and dance for joy.”

 


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