"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflecting on Challenging Questions

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the Body of Christ

But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way


From Casting Crowns "If We Are the Body"

I remember as a child I always had as soft spot for missionaries, likely because many in my family had served the Lord on foreign fields and I grew up hearing about their lives in China or Africa or Cayman Brac. At one time I thought one day I, too, would go overseas and share the gospel, but when I got married, it seemed pretty obvious that serving as a foreign missionary wasn't going to happen. Afterall Andrew had his business here, and it just didn't seem the Lord was leading us in the missions direction. I wasn't too disappointed. I'm not a huge fan of radical change ... my friends and family even laugh at my expense sometimes because I wear old clothes or use things 'til they wear out. I have replacements and new clothes nearby, but I wait until the old is all used. And that's a great joke to them ... even to Andrew. And I don't mind as it IS one of my endearing quirks. *ahem* So I don't like radical or even little changes all that much -- at least, not until I realize how good those changes were or are. So staying in America near my family and friends and enjoying "the good life" here was A-OK with me!

But as 2008 wraps up, I have to say missions is back on my mind. I don't know what God has in store for us, but He has been challenging my heart greatly the last several months and changing me in many ways.

I heard this song recently and really listened to the words instead of the somewhat potentially-distracting beat. Wow, did they speak to me! Especially when I consider what is going on in the world presently, and how God has tenderized my heart for the Arab/Muslim world the last 15 months. Before October 2007, I really didn't think much of Arabs or Muslims (kind of apathetic) unless it was a passing thought of "why, oh, why do they hate us so." Even then, that didn't consume my thoughts much.

It's amazing how God changes your heart and puts great love and tenderness and compassion in it towards people who are vastly different from you. I hope I keep these words in mind and reach out to all people, not picking and choosing based on merits that I think are acceptable. Who am I to judge that? I pray I can love all people.

So reread the words to the song and ask yourself those questions. Really makes you think, doesn't it? Are we doing all we can or are we a part of that Body that has become weak from non-use?

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Edit: Wanted to add: THEY CAME TODAY! In the mail!


Joni said...

Susie, I am so blessed to read this from you! I really think that God is stirring up something that he placed in you a long time ago. You are changing - and it feels so rapid too. I can see it in the things you are talking about and the way you are talking about them. God is doing a big thing in you!
These things you've learned certainly have challenged me and my beliefs and actions. Made me take stock and ask myself what I believe and why. And challenged me to love more.

Susanne said...

Joni, thanks for your comment. :-) If you compare the list of books I read in 2008 vs. 2007, you will see how vastly God has even changed my tastes in books! I always liked historical fiction, and Christian fiction, but last year out of 37 books, I think only 2 were fiction. In previous years that total was about 99.9% fiction.

Did you notice the addition to this post at the very bottom? The things that arrived were our visas to *drumroll* SYRIA!! :-O

Not sure if we will go for sure. I want to make sure I don't have some terrible disease first. THIS is the thing I am trying to not be fearful about these days. I can't help but think, "God, I feel more ready to serve you than ever before, but it seems my body is rebelling! What's up with this?" I have an appt. on Tuesday, and,Lord willing, all will be fine. I'm having to practice that living by faith not fear thing I wrote about yesterday. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

SuzyQ said...

When I read this I just found myself smiling. I can relate so much to what you wrote :0)
No matter where your mission takes you this year , whether it be far from home or close to home, I can see that you will bring the love of Jesus with you wherever you are :0)

Joni said...

Susie, I saw the "They came!" thing but didn't know what it meant. Wow, how exciting! I would love so much to travel with you to the Middle East to meet with your wonderful friends. My hubby says that it's not safe for two women to go alone so we'd have to take Andrew. :)

I am so proud of you for taking such a step of faith as to get your visas! BTW, illness is always MY biggest fear in traveling.