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Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Big Picture

Where are your thoughts?  Where are they going?  Do they go outside your home, down the block, or maybe to the inside walls of your church?  Do they venture out, take risks, think of the possible or impossible or seemingly impossible?  That could be where our hearts lay on a day-to-day basis.  Never taking risks for the big picture.  What is the big picture?  It's the great commission!  We have been commissioned by God for a task where the reaping and sowing is so much more important than anything we can imagine.

I have thoughts that wither around, stay stagnate.  They become comfortable.  They are used on a daily routine basis.  Oh and change---that dreadful word to some.  Well, I need a change.  We all need a change--something to shake us up, wake us up to other people's needs in and out of the church.  

It is missions month in our church where my family attends.  That's where missionaries who are supported by the church come back to the 'states' and give a talk about what they doing, have done, their struggles--a lot of stuff we take for granted.  So, one of those missionaries spoke today and I was moved.  I was completely glued to everything he was saying.  Has that ever happened to you--hanging on every word of a speaker talking about what God has done and is doing in their world?  That's a big picture to imagine.  Well, it got my thoughts moving and shaking.  In my early years as a Christian when I would hear about people going off to do missions work in other countries--I was so scared God would call me to go to Africa or some other place where the living is difficult.  I knew I couldn't handle it.  Well, since that time, over 20 years ago, I have a much different attitude toward mission work.  The thought of seeing God's word in action more than here in the U.S., looking into the eyes of the truly needy, feeling a deep love and affection for people who need Jesus.  Or perhaps they do know Jesus and you can share that moment loving one another in joy.  

My daughter was really touched by the missionary speaking today, as well.  She really wants to go to another country for mission work.  Right now, she's at a camp being like a missionary to youth who don't know Jesus.  She did this once before and loved it.  I think that set a fire inside her to open her realm of desire to go further out there in this big world to make a difference.  My husband and I prayed for her before she was born that she would bring many people to Christ through her.  Who am I to get in the way of that!  I want my daughter to be what God wants her to be.  Yes, I worry about what could go wrong, horribly wrong.  But she's not really mine.  My husband and I were commissioned to care for this precious child and grow her up in the way of the Lord.  God may lead her to go half way around the world for His work.  Who am I to say no to God and hang onto her, and crush her calling?  That's who I would be saying "no" to---God.  I want that for her.  If she feels called and led by God, I have no problem with saying, "Go."

The big picture needs to be revisited in our hearts and minds more frequently.  I know it does in mine.  We need not lose sight of what really matters in life---it's not stuff and things we accumulate.  We need to ask God to grow our sticks of thoughts on our body to become beautiful branches in how we see others and in many places, a hopeless world.  I want to do what God wants me to do, but I've got to make sure my "open" sign stays on.  That my oil doesn't burn out or my candle grow dim.  Look at yourself and your thoughts--see where they travel.  Maybe they need to meet an "under construction" sign so they can be rerouted to a better, fruitful path.