I wanted to share a blog post that I had written on the Women Behind the Scenes blog last November. It’s amazing how the Lord teaches me things in preparation for what I will go through in my life. I have gone back through and bolded the parts that really ‘WOW’ed me!
“Oh. India…Wow. I’m glad someone is going there, but I’m glad it’s not me!”
On the deputation trail, I have met many well-meaning people who have made this statement or similar ones and have left me feeling very discouraged about our field of choice- New Delhi, India. It’s too hot, too crowded, too scary, too disease-ridden, too closed to the gospel, too big, etc. These people are shocked that I would take my baby girl to such an “unsafe” location. I try my best to be sweet and understanding, and praise the Lord, I have always succeeded. However, sometimes I just want to be a little rude and say what my flesh wants me to say with the tone of sarcasm I have ashamedly mastered, “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
I am both offended that that they think we can’t hack it and that they think our God is not big enough to overcome these obstacles. Then I think, “These are my natural thoughts, too.” My flesh feeds me these lies. True, India IS too big, too scary,etc. BUT it is not too-ANYTHING for God! True, we can’t hack it…on our own, BUT we serve a GREAT God who I have the privilege of seeing work around the world through goer- and sender-friends of mine. Like Paul, they have endured trials in order to make His name great in their fields.
“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel. So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the Word without fear” (Philippians 1:12-14).
Thanks to these awesome ladies, many of which write on this blog, I am more confident and more bold to speak the Word without fear. Because of Mindy Bush, I know that the Lord can save me, and even use my family as a great testimony, in the midst of violent attack. Because of Jillian Bashore, I know that residents in a country closed to the gospel can come to know the Lord as their Savior. Because of Natasha Tolson, I know the Lord can sustain me in the most lonely and grief-filled times of my life. Because of Holly Pearson, I know that I can conquer my fear of rejection and share my faith with those I encounter in the secular work-force and community.
Any trial I face is merely a small blip on God’s radar; delivering me is just a check mark on his “To-Do list”. I have seen him provide joy for the mourning and rest for the weary. Whatever I endure for His name, I can CHOOSE to have “fall out RATHER unto the furtherance of the gospel.” In other words, I can have a poor-me attitude, or I can have a FOR HIM attitude!
As I do, those who come behind me can feed off of both my failures and my victories to reach their fields in a confidence and boldness that only comes from knowing we are safely in His hands! This confidence can make great change in this lost world.
We all know Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We love to use this as a verse of victory: “I can win souls, I can become wealthy, I can pass this test,” whatever suits our goals at the time. However, verse 12 gives me another perspective: “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” THEN follows, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I can suffer for His name sake through His strength alone, and I can do it with a FOR HIM attitude! As a result, I can influence souls for Christ in the field where He has called my family, and I can make confident those that labor after me. I can have a fun and satisfying life in India. I can raise a happy family that loves the Lord and shines His light around the world. The possibilities are endless because the power of Christ is endless!”