I truly believe that when God calls us to something that is new and outside of the box of our norm it has a two fold purpose. One is to fulfill his plan for us to be in a deeper relationship with Him through obedience to His call. The second purpose is to help us see more of what He sees and fulfill the call to get outside of ourselves for a greater good, namely bringing others to Him through salvation.
Being a part of something that is mission minded on a weekly basis has helped me to see that I do not have a clue about many things in this life. Up until now my goals have been pretty much like those of most Christian Americans. It goes something like this:
Go to college, get a good paying and steady job, marry someone who loves Jesus, is reliable and will take care of me, afford a good house in a good neighborhood, have a kid or two, make friends and be involved in church and grow in my walk with God.
Nothing about those goals really involved anyone but me. My view has been completely self-centered and, frankly until recently, I’ve been perfectly fine with that.
After years of teaching Bible studies and being involved in every church activity imaginable I found myself in a very unusual place: unfulfilled. Most of the goals that I’d set for myself had come to some sort of fruition. Not everything was perfect (because it’s just not) but I really had about every blessing that a girl could have, and then some.
So why was I so unfulfilled?
The Lord started showing me through some local missions days in our city that my focus, while it had been on Him and His Word, was MORE on myself and those around me that are just as blessed as I am.
The last 5 weeks of serving in the clothing ministry have shown me that I am WAAAAY to consumed with myself and what I DON’T have. Seeing those in need for simple things have really made me sit up and take notice of how blessed I am.
I’ve really not had a clue that people right around me have MAJOR needs.
Families have no winter clothing. Like the mother of 5 who came in the other day with a tank top and a t-shirt layered over it when it was so cold… and she was asking for clothing for her kids. Not herself.
Some have no ability to fill out a simple form as they enter because they can’t read or write.
Men are in need of a pair of pants because they’ve been out of work so long that they have nothing to interview in when finally being considered for a job.
I am not so naïve as to think that there are NO needs around us. Obviously we are in a time of recession and joblessness is running rampant. No one really has it easy right now… including us! It’s just that I never really put myself in their shoes and considered what that must feel like to feel hopeless.
I am so grateful for Jesus. The hope that He brings and the fact that I can offer a pair of pants and shirt, and explain that those temporal things will wear out, BUT GOD… came to bring plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) through the blood of Christ is just such an amazing gift to those with no hope!
Living in America with the American dream and the American church sometimes brings a level of protection from the real world. If you are like me you understand. We really have NO CLUE until we get out there and live it!