Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Heaven-sent Reminder

As some of you may have seen on facebook or Twitter, I've had a pretty rough week.

Some people assume that since we are missionaries, that we have superhero faith and that we never struggle or have difficult times. It's simply not true. A war is being waged (Ephesians 6:12), and as soldiers, we are right in the middle of it - and a lot of times that means getting wounded. (For a really good perspective on peaks and valleys check this out) I have been floundering all week trying to find purpose and motivation. I have been begging God for help. He sent it today.


Jackie (center) is a Brother. Kyle (my brother) met him during his first year in China back in 2005. He lives in Shanghai (about an hour and a half away) and came to visit for the weekend. We had our Family Meeting this morning, and (for security reasons among other things) he is the first Chinese that we've had to attend. Apparently we all had bad weeks, including Jackie, but this is what he shared (paraphrase), "I feel better today. I had a dream last night and it was like He told me to give Him the burden. He told me that I try to do everything on my own and I can't. I need Him."

One of the greatest struggles since we've been here is wondering if we're doing any good, making any difference. Jackie also had some encouraging words on this topic. He reminded us of the quote about 'one planting the seed, and another sowing...' Then he shared his story. The first foreign teacher he had was a Sister. She didn't think he had any interest and probably assumed she would never talk to him again after her year in China. The very next year, another teacher came and Jackie became a Brother. The first teacher wasn't there to see it, but she was the one who had planted the seed. It was a great encouragement to hear this from a Chinese. He also said, "Don't think you're here to help the Chinese. You are here for us to help you." I'm not sure he knew how right he was!

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." -Isaiah 55:11

I have to remind myself that my purpose is not to "convert" or teach, that is for God to do. My job is simply to plant seeds - to "proclaim the excellencies of him who called [me]." -1 Peter 2:9

4 comments:

  1. Chills. So good! That was so encouraging! And I love the new template!

    ReplyDelete
  2. As the woman returns to Samaria the Good One told his followers,

    "I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

    You are doing the hard work. Others may get the joy of the harvest, but Papa knows the full story. These are the situations where we operate on the evidence of things not yet seen. Keep on keeping on! Let your brains drag your guts, if you have to, but know there will be a harvest. It is promised.

    It took my mentor four years in India. Once the process starts, it goes more quickly because of rapid reproduction, but the front end is slow. Remember the counter-intuitive--You have to go slow to go fast!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is SO wonderful ! ! ! You plant, someone else waters.....and you don't have to worry about the increase because that is not your job.
    I love you guys.....
    Layna

    ReplyDelete