I posted this two summers ago. And if you know me on a personal level, then you know that it's something I'm burdened about every day of my life. But when? Where? Why not now? Those are a few of the questions I ask Jesus every day as I beg for him to consume every part of me. I don't think it's possible to put into words just how ready I am for this vision I've had in the back of my mind for nearly six years finally come to life before my eyes. I get chills and butterflies every time I think about it, and I am certain, without a doubt, that I'll be seeing Creation like I've never seen it before and loving on people that have never known much, if anything, about real, true love. That's my vision. That's our vision, and I have wrestled over why neither Teesh nor I have felt a deep burden for a specific place and why we haven't been sent out yet.
This weekend, I had the privilege of attending a seminar at Anderson University called Called2Ministry. Melanie told us about it several weeks ago, and we had no problem committing to a sleepover in Anderson and the potential of more knowledge than our tiny selves could digest. It was such a blessing to be mentored by so many men of God who are out in the world trying to make the name of Jesus more and more famous with each passing day. They poured into us and loved on us and very much empowered us, all in less than twenty-four hours. There were several things that really hit home with me, and this was one of them. When he said it, I'm pretty sure a light bulb physically turned on in my teeny tiny brain. It was a simple statement, but it was so profound:
Ezra 7:10 says, "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." Ezra studied the Law, practiced the Law, and then taught the Law. He was prepared, and, therefore, his ministry was effective. With that in mind, which of these would be more effective in winning lives for Christ: fifty-five years of so-so ministry or five years of studying and practicing, followed by fifty years of life-changing ministry?
That's why it's not time for us yet. We need to study more and practice more and seek our Savior more and pray more for trust that we do clarity and prepare ourselves for His perfect timing to come to life in us and beg for a deeper taste of Him. I'm overwhelmed by the opportunity to get to do those things, much less by the thought of doing something I call "big" for him. I just have to keep saying Hineni. Over and over. Hineni. Hineni. Hineni. Translation: Here I am. No matter what is asked, here I am. I surrender everything, Lord, here I am. Take my fear, Lord, here I am. Here I am. He wants a reckless abandonment of myself, and that's what I must give. That's what my heart longs to give.
I know my calling, and I know I'll get there as long as I keep chasing hard after his heart. Apparently, I even have a sign above my head that flashes "Missionary," according to Mr. Foster Christy, one of our speakers this weekend. He stopped mid-sermon, looked me dead in the eye, and asked, "Have you ever thought about missions specifically?" I'm pretty sure my eyes popped out of my head, but I quickly responded that I had. He immediately, and confidently, said "You've got a sign on your head." As if I hadn't had more than ample confirmation over the past several years, Jesus thought I needed to be called out in front of a crowd by a complete stranger. What an indescribable blessing for the Holy Spirit to speak to you through an incredible man of God. My Jesus continually sweeps me off my feet and makes me fall more and more in love with Him. May I never grow weary in my pursuit of this Jesus who died so I could live.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing, and perfect will."