Maybe the doors aren’t opening because God knows we’re not ready to walk through them.

I’m supposed to be couponing but I don’t really care.  Who said I was “supposed” to be anyway?  Me.  So I have the right to change the rules.  And now I have successfully justified myself to myself.  Congratulations.

Six years ago our church sent out a couple to go plant a church in Massachusetts. I didn’t really know them that well though we had gone to their house once for dinner.  I remember discussing with my sister how adorable Sarah was as a pregnant woman and how I wanted to look like that one day.  When they left I wasn’t even married yet so we related in a completely different way then than we do now.  In a lot of ways I feel like I was still a kid back then, but I guess that’s a different subject.  

Anyways, ministry in Massachusetts didn’t go as expected and they went back to “normal life” for a while.  Then they read a book called Radical which turned their lives upside-down and loooooooong story way way way short they are now preparing to move overseas, and once again we are their commissioning church.  

Jeremy and I are on a totally different side this time – we are the missions leaders at our church, we are in charge of their accountability once they are on-field, we have two children and so do they, and we are pretty much bona-fied adults *snort*.  But seriously, we are both closer to 30 than 20 and wow – that puts things in perspective a bit.

This couple is taking their school-age kids, moving away from family, and making a five-year or more commitment to ministry in the area of human-trafficking.  They asked God what life would look like if they really surrendered their all to them, and when He told them they chose to obey.

When Jeremy and I were engaged we really thought we would move overseas as missionaries within five years.  I was going to get my master’s, then we would join Wycliffe and start support-raising, and then we’d move.  We even started the process and met with representatives and planned our jobs and choices around that plan.  Then God changed it.  

To take loooooong to way way way short once again, we do believe that we are where God wants us.  What we have been struggling with is WHY God wants us here, instead of “there.”  Why, when there are so few people willing to move overseas and do missions, does he put us “willing” people here in the States?  

But lately I feel like He’s been starting to show me the answer to that question, and I don’t like it.  I’m hearing something like, “Why would I send you overseas to do ‘there’ what you aren’t doing here?”  And…ouch.  

Yeah.  

That’s a good question.

I could make you a list of all the ministry we are doing here, and to be honest I almost did.  But really, do we go out of our way to build relationships with our neighbors?  And when we build relationships, do we turn them towards Christ?  Do I avoid conversations about faith with family members who believe differently, or do I look for them, start them, even embrace them?  Am I making sacrifices in my lifestyle to help the poor and lost in my own neighborhood?  Not comfortable sacrifices, but real, genuine sacrifices?

I know the answer to those questions.  

And now’s the time to change it.

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4 thoughts on “Maybe the doors aren’t opening because God knows we’re not ready to walk through them.

  1. “But lately I feel like He’s been starting to show me the answer to that question, and I don’t like it. I’m hearing something like, “Why would I send you overseas to do ‘there’ what you aren’t doing here?” And…ouch.”

    I came up with this same solution just today actually… and ouch is right… i think about this constantly with the hundreds of scenerios of “life” running around in my head….

    But usually I feel like I ask Him to show me specifically what it is he wants me to do(in many a circumstance); and I get nothing…. Not sure what that means.

    Maybe, in all reality we ARE ready, but the timing just isn’t right, but we are ready now, and hopefully will still be ready when and if that “right time” finally arrives.

    • I get where you’re coming from, but have a slightly different take (or just another view of the same thing). I think sometimes we completely overlook the most important source of God’s voice, which is His Word. He has already told us what to do: love Him, love others, speak truth. If I’m not obeying those basic things (if I’m not loving others by creating community with them, if I’m not speaking the truth of Gospel into their lives), then there is no reason for Him to give me further, more specific instructions, because He is still waiting for me to do what He already told me. So at least in the circumstance of Jeremy and I being “ready” to go overseas, I think it really is a case of us not being ready because we aren’t being missionaries here. Timing may be part of it, but not the heart of it like I used to think it was.

  2. God is never in a hurry, and He never makes a mistake, and He never wastes anything. Those truths have given me a lot of strength while I wait on His direction for various questions in my life. (What seems like a non-answer is actually an answer to ‘wait’ while He continues to equip me).

    Your conclusion is probably closer to the truth than you realize. God will not send us ‘there’ to do what we are not doing ‘here’. He does expect us to obey what light we have been given. It is only logical- can He trust us with more when we haven’t bothered to care for what He has already given?

    The place we serve is important, but secondary to the task He has given: go and tell; give; serve; pray.

    Stay faithful Allie!

  3. Wow! This has been my thinking exactly on the “why would He send us elsewhere when we aren’t doing what He wants us to do here.” I have thought about that many times when I have had that missions heart at those certain moments. That thought just came to me yesterday in fact, while looking at a missions photo. Praying for courage to reach out to those here, in my own “backyard.” I guess only then can He trust me elsewhere.

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