MISSIONARIES ARE AN inspiring group of individuals. There are countless tales of men and women who sacrificed all worldly comforts for the sake of ministry. They’ve experienced heartache that very few of us can imagine.
Perils and enemy threats have pursued them in hopes of dashing out the light that they carry. Yet these brave ambassadors continued and still continue to put themselves on the line time and time again for the truth. For the gospel.
However, and while it is definitely not their intent, sometimes these heroes and heroines tend to make us “normal” Christians feel insecure about ourselves. I speak from experience… Hearing such inspiring stories about God using others often excited me, but it was also accompanied by a sense of guilt. I used to consider myself less of a Christian because I wasn’t volunteering at an orphanage in Zimbabwe or risking life and limb to deliver Bibles to an underground church in North Korea. Even when I got past the guilt, there was this fear that I was being judged because I did not feel called to “ministry” or at least in the traditional sense of the word.
Little did I know that God was about to give a timeless missionary lesson to this non-missionary girl.
My laptop keyboard had gotten ruined, but luckily for me, it was still under warranty. My mother contacted the company, and they said that they would send one of their employees to fix it. I didn’t think much about it. I was just excited to be able to have my computer up and running again.
I was outside in our backyard, relaxing as I waited for the repairman to finish his work. That’s when I began to feel a very strange sensation in my heart. I felt burdened about something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. My palms were sweaty and my heart was thudding with the force of a hammer. Before I knew it, questions began to swirl around in my head.
What are you doing to help reach others for Christ? What if that man inside has never heard the gospel message? What if God placed both of you in this moment as an opportunity for you to witness?
Immediately I tried argue away such notions by believing that they were my own random thoughts. How did I know that this was the voice of God? What if I was just imagining things? God wouldn’t just want me to share the gospel message with a random stranger, would He? He knows that I’m terrible at things like that. What if my attempts just push this man farther away from the gospel? What if he doesn’t understand? What if this guy just thinks I’m a religious nut?
The questions continued to present themselves, but try as I might, I didn’t feel at peace with avoiding the subject. I finally resigned myself to the truth. God was really trying to get through to me. Only He could be so persistent against my selfish flesh.
For some odd reason, I wept quietly to myself. I felt utterly pathetic. These types of things came so easily to most people, and there I was finding every excuse in the book to avoid it.
God has a special assignment that is unique only to you. He has a position for you that nobody else can fill.
I asked my mother to help me find a collection of tracts that we had around the house. Then I went through several of them before settling on just the right one. I wrote our home phone number and a note that asked him to contact my family if he had any questions. Sounds silly, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
The man soon announced that he was done fixing my computer, and began to gather his things. Just as he made his way toward the door, I began to have second thoughts.
What would be so bad about letting him leave? Surely God would send someone else who was better qualified, right? What was my puny effort going to do anyhow? This surely wasn’t going to make a difference.
I was nearly about to let the whole thing go when I felt God tugging at me again. “Do your part. And I’ll take care of the rest. Stop worrying about things that haven’t happened. You are not in control of the results. Just do it.”
With a shaky voice I then asked the man to take the tracts, and with even shakier hands I handed each one to him. He accepted them, walked out the door, and went on his way.
I haven’t heard from him since. I don’t know if he read the tracts or if he threw them away as soon as he got home. He probably doesn’t even remember me, but I still pray for him every now and then. All I know is that my conscious is clear before God, and I know that He can use my little step of faith in that repairman’s life even if I don’t get to see the results of it personally. If nothing else, God used that moment in my life to teach me and grow my faith.
That’s what ministry is all about.
The true definition of being a missionary is listening to the will of God and being sensitive to whatever His spirit asks of you. If that is in Zimbabwe, so be it! But if it isn’t, don’t beat yourself up! It just means that God has a special assignment that is unique only to you. He has a position for you that nobody else can fill. God will not put you in places where He doesn’t think you can make a difference for His kingdom. Does that mean you’ll save a hundred souls every day of your life? Of course not, but we are the most effective when we let God use us wherever we are. You can be anything from an opera singer to a plumber and He will still find ways to work through you. That’s part of the beauty of being wonderfully odd.
My encouragement to you ladies is to be still. Listen. Don’t ignore the voice of God. Act on it. It’s scary sometimes, but amazing things can come out of it, even if you don’t realize it.