One of my favorite pictures of Jesus is of him kneeling on a beach to cook breakfast for his disciples after his resurrection. Even after he had given all he had to give, offering his very life to pay the penalty of our sin, all the while knowing his precious gift of salvation would be mocked and rejected by the people He came to save… we find him once again humbly serving the men who recently deserted him in the Garden of Gethsemane! We even find Him loving and commissioning the one who denied that he ever knew him.
When you read God’s Word it becomes evident that God enjoys working with people who don’t have it all together. It has never been about our goodness or our faithfulness. Thankfully, it is all about who He is!
He comes to the broken… to the one who knows they don’t deserve forgiveness… to the one who has nowhere else to turn… to the one who has no confidence in their ability to walk on their own… to the one content to be carried by their Rescuer and willing to give their life in joyful gratitude to their Great Physician.
To an onlooker who sees the storms in a follower’s life, it may seem as though they are putting on a face to mask their sad reality. When, in fact, rather than a putting on a face, they have chosen to walk in God’s gift of grace… They have decided to be held in His embrace… an embrace of light so bright that shadows flee and the darkness of the storm that swirls around them no longer has the ability to destroy them.
Even as the tempest continues to rage, their perception is changed. They know their Anchor is sure… their Strong Tower is secure.
While some are content to simply be safe, others come to realize that the real storm is a holy war for the souls of mankind… they understand that this life is a choosing place, a valley of decision before entering eternity and they are willing to go anywhere to let the world know that there is a Redeemer… Not because they have it all together, they know they don’t… Not because they’re perfect, but because they know their Redeemer is!
Some of them are asked to take this Good News to places far away, to leave behind the homes they know and the people they love. They understand that the enemy of our soul is holding many captive… Some in an illusion that this life is all there is… Others are held in the deception that their own strength and goodness will save them.
To some this assignment may seem ludicrous, pretentious, and reckless… to others it may seem glamorous and adventurous… but to the sent one, it is merely obedience.
Sometimes these sent ones are called “missionaries,” a term derived from the Latin word, missionem, meaning, “to send”… a term that should define everyone who calls on the name of the LORD, because we were not redeemed to merely be safe. We were redeemed to join our Lord in His mission to set other captives free!
We are excited about an opportunity God has given us to serve His missionaries this winter! We’ll have the privilege of cooking breakfast, washing sheets and scrubbing toilets as we serve as substitute hosts at the Oaks, a (sort of) bed and breakfast in Italy that was established by Life Impact Ministries to give tired missionaries a place to rest and be refreshed. Our short time as overseas missionaries made us acutely aware of the intense spiritual warfare that missionaries and ministry leaders face on a daily basis. Missionaries serving away from home also face a barrage of language and cultural differences, as well as the separation from their loved ones and their church family back home. All this adds up to make their ministry uniquely challenging and exhausting.
We would really appreciate prayer, because the truth is, our enemy really hates these sent ones who understand that being a Christian means being on mission with Christ. Our enemy doesn’t want God’s sent ones to be refreshed so they can return to their assignments rested and better equipped for the battle of setting the captives free!
Will you join us in praying for…
- travel mercies, connections, and divine appointments
- protection from the enemy for our entire family
- relaxation and refreshment for each of God’s sent ones who will be staying at the Oaks
- sweet rest and reflection for the Oaks regular hostess, Celeste, as she is on her sabbatical