A Few Things
I have a few different things to say this time, but I just haven’t had the time to type them up…so I will attempt to do smush them all together now…and hopefully it will 1.) make some kind of sense, and/or 2.) cause you to think of similar situations that may be in your own life, and how God might desire you to change and grow (and a possible #3: give you more ideas of how to pray for me).
Several days ago, I was laying out in a field, praying…and I had the sudden thought, “You know, God…I just really love talking to you!” And then I realized, equally fast, that I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt that way; just really enjoying talking to God. So often I’ve made it like a chore that I had to check off of my list, rather than a delight that I longed for. How sad that is, that I would not desire and take joy in talking to my Creator, my Savior, and the One who loves me and holds my life in His hands?
Change. We all have different opinions of that word. Most of them are negative. But I’d always thought that I was different; God created me to be a very “flexible” type person, and I thought highly of the fact that, and figured that, whatever change came my way, I’d simply rise over the swells, and “go with the flow”, and embrace it.
And then God told me to go to the Unashamed Ministries Bible Institute. I didn’t know the Petrofskys super well, but I knew enough about them to know that they were very zealous about not listening to secular music, or watching movies that are worldly etc. I was willing to comply to the standards…while I was here. But I told myself that I would never take the challenge to give them up for a year. So, I made playlists on my iPod that would help me to only listen to Christian music…but I left the secular music on my iPod, for when I got back home. Oh, and I was very adamant that I would only be here for 3 months, and then I would go back home. I would let God work in my life for a bit, and I would learn what I could from the Petrofskys and the others here, and then take it back and transpose it into my “normal” life. And yeah…I actually really didn’t want to come here deep in my heart; I was fighting it all the way. But I am so thankful that the call of God was much stronger, and that He was still able to get me where I am now, despite my quiet rebellion.
So I came. And just days after joining with the Petrofskys, I felt God telling me that I needed to start thinking about coming back for the “Spring” semester…and maybe even the summer. Woah, woah, woah…sloooowww down there, God. I didn’t even want to be here for 3 months…let alone any longer than that! And He’s been showing me how amazing times with Him can be when all the “worldly” junk isn’t constantly floating through my head – just having Christ-centered songs coming to mind at random times is amazing, because it causes me to think of God at times when I might not have otherwise. (Note: Though I believe it’s a useful thing, to give up “worldly” entertainment for a while…even a lifetime, I do not think it’s a telling factor of salvation, or a life of fruitful service to Christ. I think we should be careful about how much importance we place on secondary things like that, however useful they may be.)
But no, it’s true that God has a-m-a-z-i-n-g-l-y used my time here so far, even though this isn’t a “normal” semester, and I’ve found something here that resounds with my heart. And I know I’ve said this before…but I’ve never felt more alive. God has been making me more alive; waking up the dead parts inside of me, and bringing them to life.
Though I don’t know every detail of how or how long, I think, Lord willing, I will be here a bit longer than I had planned on…
I apologize to all those friends back home who are groaning right now.
Ever since I was born (maybe even before?) my mom has been convinced that God told her that I would be a missionary. And guess what? Like so many other things in my life, I completely shunned that idea. There’s nothing to explain my loathing of the thought, other than the devil trying to turn me from a life of holy purpose. But every time my mom would bring it up, I would frown, and walk away, feeling incredibly uncomfortable with the idea. I mean, I went to Mexico for a week when I was 13, which was cool…but giving my whole life to serve God alone, and tell other people about Him…? Unthinkable. Especially if it meant getting out of my small “comfort zone”. No, I was sure God could use me just fine, in my cozy home…and he’d just bring along the people I needed to talk to about Him. I sure didn’t need to go out looking for people to tell about God.
But then…God took me out of my comfort zone. And I can’t even explain the amazing changes He’s decided to work in my heart since then. But one of them happened while reading Matthew…and especially these verses:
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”
(Matthew 9:36-38 ESV)
And I started praying that for the church of America…and then I felt like I needed to be praying that for myself. ”Lord, make me a laborer for your harvest…use me in any way you choose to share the gospel with those who don’t know You.”
So, I don’t know how, or when, or where…but I am willing. And I think I just might have a chance or two in the next few months…
So you see…God can completely re-model hearts in a very short period of time, if we let Him. Never give up on someone…never stop praying for them.
And Happy Thanksgiving!