Visiting the Wycliffe (Bible Translators) headquarters in Dallas last week, I guess I asked for it. The Holy Spirit came knocking (per my own bold request) on Sunday night, solidifying all I’ve known to be true since 8th grade….I’m destined to follow God’s call overseas, and following that call is not going to be easy. There is a reason not all languages have translations of the Gospel. Living overseas is hard. Trusting God (rather than your own ability to pull up them bootstraps!) to provide your daily bread is not comfortable. Living oceans away from your family….daunting at best. Let’s not even mention the powers of darkness at work.
Life is full of heartache (wherever you live) and following Jesus takes immense courage.
Another follower said, “Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.” Jesus refused, “First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.” ~Matthew 8:21-22, MSG
So there I stood, in the highest building at the International Linguistics Center, as they sang:
Letting go of my pride
Giving up all my rights
Take this life and let it shine*
How can I give it all up? I can’t escape the thought. I’m standing on the brink of the rest of my life and all my weak heart can cry is: I love my life! I love Little Rock! I want to stay.
Yet, I know what staying would mean. Happiness laced with hollowness. Wondering. A curiosity that would never leave me be, that would make me restless everyday of my life. The knowledge, achy like a stomach cramp, that I had not said “yes” to the Lord of my life. How can I slam the door in his face? How can I sing the songs….
do you people know what that means? I thought, as everyone sang happily around me. It means no more truck rides with inner-city kids and hot Cheeto fingerprints, no more Halloweens spent driving from one side of my beloved city to the other; no more drop-in visits to friends who have known me since before adolescence, friends who rode the high school roller coaster with me; no more knowing the ins & outs of one place, one people.
No more weekends at mom & dad’s.
Will I get to see my sisters…even once a year?
God, I love my life.
It is a gift.
Is it an idol?
You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God. ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20, emphasis mine
Do I love my life more than I love the God who gave me life? If I truly believe that all good things come from God why would I run away from him instead of towards him?
He has given me time, talent, & the treasure of my heart & free will. He won’t force himself on me, but he allures me towards the adventure my soul longs to play its irreplaceable role in.
And all I can do is shake in my little gray Skechers:
Truly, it is the only option. I don’t have to be smart enough. I don’t have to be healthy. I just have to be willing. I just have to trust him. It is hard to sing the words:
It will be my joy to say
Your way* (Chris Tomlin, Lay Me Down)
…so I will whisper them, tears flowing from the depths of my shattered heart.
I surrender. I will go; I will go if You go with me.
And He said to him [Moses], “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”~Exodus 33:14, ESV
He is enough. Who else has a bottle full of the tears I’ve shed since birth? Who else loves me enough to make me whole? No small part of my heart is isolated; He cares for every inch of my eternal soul.
Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and will praise your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16, CEV
Dare to follow him, and join the deluge of people who have taken the plunge into the ocean of his grace;
His grace for you.
Judy Griffith (pictured in blue) spent her life translating the Bible for people groups in Papau New Guinea. What will your legacy be?