While sometimes I think I hear the voice of God so clearly, I understand that some of you reading this think I am crazy. As I explained that I thought God is calling me back to Thailand in December to be a leader over APSAI to some family members of mine (whom I have a lot of respect for) – they expressed some realistic concern. What about your car, your cell phone bill, your insurance, your student loans, your house in Springfield that you have until at least May that is completely furnished with my parents furniture? And most of all, what about your teaching career? Interviews happen in the beginning of the spring semester (when I would be gone) and rarely do interviews happen in the summer.
Obviously, I had thought about a lot of this before, but I still had no answers. So after my conversation with them, I was very discouraged. I can honestly say, since the day I gave my life to Christ in 8th grade, I have never doubted Him or His plan for my life as much as I did after that conversation. I have second-guessed some of the things God has called me to do before, but until last night, I never thought ‘maybe I am crazy and just making this all up in my head…maybe God isn’t calling me to missions…maybe God doesn’t care if I do ministry in Thailand or in the US, as long as I am still serving Him and sharing His love and forgiveness with others…does God care about every single detail of our lives or does He just care about an overall picture…’
Something else they asked me is, ‘why can’t you just find ministry to do here in the states? There are lots of people that need to know Jesus. [Get a teaching job and be the sponsor for FCA or something.]’ And yes, they are absolutely right, there are a lot of people that think they know Jesus, but have never truly discovered His fullness of grace, mercy, and power. But, as I continue to think about all the people that need to hear the Gospel, I also think of all the people that need to hear the Gospel FOR THE FIRSTIME in Thailand. When it comes to Thailand, Matt 9:35-38 couldn’t be more true:
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
I will tell you, just as I told them, ‘If I could pick my dream life, this wouldn’t be it. Living in another country, thousands of miles away from everyone I love, where I can’t have a normal English conversation, missing out on weddings of close friends, family events, and holidays. But I know without a doubt that God has placed me here for a reason. And for some weird reason, I fit in really well and love it here!’ And that I must hold on to. But again, that is where doubt has suddenly started creeping in big time! Could I be just as affective some where in Springfield or Omaha teaching and ministering to middle school or high school students? Would God be disappointed if I decided not to come back to Thailand for APSAI and instead pursued teaching, what I felt called to do prior to Thailand? Would God even open doors for me teach or sub? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I pray that I can start hearing GODS voice clearly, and not my own or anyone else’s. While it is difficult for me to accept this, I must start living my life for myself and not trying to please others – I am 22 and graduated from college. “Anyone who loves his [family] more than me is not worthy of me…and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:37-38).
1 Corinthians 1:18-30
For the message of the cross if foolishness to those who are [of the world], but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? (In otherwords, the things of this world are foolish to God and the things of God are foolish to the world.) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. [The world] demands miraculous signs and looks for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to [those who don’t understand or believe]…For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Not many of you, who were called, were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.
So, after reading that I realized that when God calls me to do something, it is going to seem foolish to many. That is not easy for me to accept – I don’t like to seem foolish. I want to be wise, but as a follower of Christ I must accept that it is my duty to do what God thinks is wise and not worry about what the world thinks is wise. Again, going back to humility, I must get rid of my pride in this life and accept that His ways are higher and will not always be popular. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made” (John 1:1-3); here, John presents Jesus as ‘the Word’. The commentary on this passage states this: God’s written Word declares that Jesus Christ is God’s wisdom for us in every way, helping us to understand, demonstrate and accomplish God’s purposes.
So now, I must ask myself – will I be accomplishing God’s purpose if I stay in the US or must I come to Thailand to do so? I suppose, in time, I will discover what I am supposed to do…even if that means looking foolish to those I care about the most.