As many of you know, I am back in school, getting a Masters degree in international studies. I have the opportunity to take a trip next summer for course credit. As I was looking at the options, I experienced a feeling that has become quite familiar lately. I’m not sure what to call it … longing, maybe?
As I was envisioning the various places I could go, my heart was already connecting with the people in those countries. Their need for the gospel as well as their physical needs filled my mind immediately. And then I remembered as the feeling came, that this wouldn’t be a mission trip. It would be fun and interesting, but educational not missional. Sigh. Longing.
Sometimes as I sit in class or am studying, it comes again. Why do I need to know what caused the Asian financial crisis or the Arab Spring? I’m in ministry, for crying out loud! (as my Mom would say). I love God, His Word and people. I burn with passion to touch people’s lives, to pour life-giving truth into them, to make a difference in the Kingdom. Intense longing. Being in school feels so ineffective. Sigh.
But then God reminds me of two important truths:
Preparation is not wasted or ineffective.
Two years ago God called me into international ministry. This Masters degree is part of being better prepared and thus more effective. Life has seasons of preparation. Whether you’re in school, starting a job in the entry-level position, or wiping toddler noses, it’s all valuable and usable by God. It grows our character, deepens our dependence on Him, and gives us meaningful connecting points with other people.
All of life is ministry.
God doesn’t see our life in sections or compartments as we tend to do. We are His all the time and have His Spirit in us all the time. Every moment is ripe with opportunity, either to grow or give. The people we work with, the students and teachers in our classrooms, the salespeople where we shop are the mission field. Family members who don’t know Jesus are the mission field.
We are to be living sacrifices.
On the altar.
Always available, no matter where we are or what we are doing.
How will you live out your ministry today?
By the way, when we long to know God more than anything else, then every other longing will be given and fulfilled by Him.