|Last night's sunset. They never get old.|
Today I was reading the blog of Katie in Uganda. I sat there soaking it up, thinking about the precious girls that have become her own and all the countless ways that she has poured her very self out for the glory and worship of her Savior. It was then that I was once again filled with the desire for a calling a little more glorious. The desire is not a new one, but rather a nagging voice in my mind that I’ve heard since the first time I can ever remember thinking about missions. I’m sure it is not unique to me. We think of going to India, China, Africa, South America... we think of the compelling needs there, the beautiful works that can be accomplished for the Lord. Why not start an orphanage? Why not take care of the elderly? Why not provide food, clothing, a place to sleep, and love for the homeless? Think of the self-sacrifice it would take. Think of all the eyes that would see, all the ears that would hear of the good news of our Savior. It’s true, this is the heartbeat of a Christian, and I immensely respect the saints who have given their lives to the Lord in this way.
So why then was I finding myself in a party of pity? Ironically enough, I was not pitying these hard-working, self-sacrificing, lonely, broken saints. No, I was pitying myself. Why?
I long for such a life as these. I long to be spent for His glory, to have His name exalted in my life. Oh I long for the mission’s field....
but sometimes I question where God has sent me. I have wrestled with Him about this on several occasions.
“Lord, can you not send me somewhere more difficult? Somewhere with more need?”
I hate feeling like I have to defend my calling. Sometimes I avoid telling people where I’m going, simply stating that in September I’m going to be doing missions for 9 months. I don’t know why I try that, because the next statement is always, “Oh wonderful! Where are you going?” I’m not sure what they expect, but when I smile and say ‘Paris’, incredulity often fills their faces.
“Oh, that’s rough!” is without doubt always the next response. Sometimes they slap a hand over their mouth, shocked at themselves for what just came out. Other times they commit to their statement and continue teasing me. I often wonder if they know how much that sarcastic statement resonates within my own soul. Most days it bounces right off of me. Some days it cuts like a knife.
“Lord, couldn’t you send me somewhere a little more ‘rough?’ Kenya, perhaps? China? Even Mexico! Anywhere, really.”
And then there are the days that I wonder if it’s wrong for me to go to Paris? I mean, it’s not a third world country. They have hardly any need at all. They’ve turned their backs on God and pursued other lovers. Could not my life be spent better by clothing the poor, feeding the hungry, and loving the lonely? Is it selfish of me to go to such an affluent country? Did I mishear the call?
Oh, but what a gentle Savior we serve. I often think that I am more wise than Him, and He oh so gently shows me that His wisdom is so much better.
“Kelsey,” He whispers. “Are there not dying souls in France? Am I not worthy of their praise? Do they not need My salvation simply because they have everything the world thinks they could want?”
I cry as I write this. I cry thinking about all the university students who are just like I was, lost and lonely and hurting and dirty. I cry as I think about the fact that even with my “extensive” Biblical training here in America, I did not know the full purchase of the cross, and with that in mind, how can they? I cry thinking about the fact that He died for them, and they pretend He doesn’t exist, this One who has romanced me and turned my life around. The One who created them, the One who causes the sun to rise and set, the One who is more glorious and good and magnificent than what I can imagine (and oh how I try!).
I am not a woman of tears. My tears for France only reaffirm and reestablish His calling of me. I still may not understand, and I may still think it’s not quite glorious enough. Yes, it still bothers me that people think that I am only going there for fashion and architecture and adventure. Yes, I do love those things and feel like, in some ways, God has specifically prepared and designed me for this country. No, I still don’t speak French. Yes, I have seen the movie Taken, and I realize how dangerous Paris can be.Yes, I sometimes think that $33,500 could be used for a lot of other things, like feeding starving children and building homeless shelters and probably feeding entire nations and stuff..... But will I disobey Him based on what I think?
““For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
“Then Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”
1 Samuel 15:22