A conversation, a calling, a compass…
At this point in the summer, we all have a different outlook on our futures because of how God has worked over the past couple of months. Whether it has been a conversation with the children, a weary elderly woman, each other, or God himself, He has pointed us in directions we never expected to go.
We have all understood the call to missions and the tug it has on our hearts. We have seen brokenness, heartache, and hopelessness in our friends. We desperately long to reach out to those in need in order to show them the love of Christ in hopes that, in His sovereignty, He would draw them closer and closer to the knowledge and acceptance of His saving grace.
We have all heard, understood, and embraced the gospel. During our team time the other morning, we read an article by Claude Hickman that says when choosing which path to take in life, “we don’t need a map, but a compass. The needle of a compass always points the same direction no matter which way you may turn it. Based off of that, a person can judge which direction would be the best to take. Our compass must be gospel centered because when our decisions are made with Christ pointing the way, no matter how many crossroads we come to, we will have a sure guide to go by.”
So as the summer ends, I think back over my time here in Louisville. Since I had recognized God’s call for me to the mission field I have had a lot of conversations with Him as well as mentors, about where and how. “Give me a heart to love and eyes to see people the way you see them,” I would pray.
He has answered those prayers, and for a long time my heart has been overseas among unreached people groups. However, both times I decided to spend my summer doing missions, I have ended up in Kentucky. Why? Because God had a lot to show me. Through both experiences He has slowly broken my heart and opened my eyes to the reality that it is not my job to save people. That’s His job and He is the only one who can do it. A motto for me this summer has been, “It’s my job to sow, and it’s God’s to grow.” Yes, my heart is overseas, but the reality is, I may not get there anytime soon. Trying to swallow that reality was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. I did not want to accept the fact that the mission field God may have for me right now is here in America. When I finally understood what God was trying to teach me, a whole world of fear and uncertainty opened up. I was frustrated and reluctant to accept God’s plans for my life because they weren’t my plans. I didn’t have every little detail laid out in front of me like a map, rather a direction to go and a guide to follow. And if I am using the compass correctly, I can clearly see it.
In that moment I was reminded of my favorite psalm that says:
Find rest, O my Soul, in God alone,
My hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out your hearts to him,
For God is our refuge.
When I’m overwhelmed God reminds me of this psalm to keep me focused on Him and remember that He alone is my strength. With Him I will never be shaken, so no matter what may come my way, I can stand knowing He is not only my protector, but the foundation upon which I make my stand against the enemy and my hiding place when I become weary. It’s everything I need to follow His plan for my life and rest in His sovereignty.