Of Minas and life missions…

Have you noticed how unique the walk of faith is for each of us?

We are called to imitate Christ and yet we will not all be itinerate miracle workers without a place to lay our heads…

Paul invited the brothers to imitate his example (Phil. 3:17), to follow him as he followed Christ, but not all were called to the missionary perils he endured in bringing the Gospel to the Gentiles…

My friend felt compelled to tell everyone that Jesus loved them and could not let a fellow hiker pass without some word shared…

I’ve read countless biographies of ‘great Christians’—missionaries, preachers, musicians, doctors, ordinary and extraordinary people accomplishing great things for God…

And once upon a time I was going to be a Bible Translator, a single woman missionary if need be,  who would bring the Gospel story to an indigenous people who had never seen their language in writing…

That was something I was sure I could do—loving words and linguistic puzzles and bookish work, but skittish of people—yes, this would be just the thing for an intellectual introvert.

Then I was found and loved and invited to marry…and everything began to change. I  worked hard at language study.  I enthusiastically  transcribed stories in a foreign tongue.  But I only endured lessons with a ‘language helper’ as my energies were spent with bearing young and being tugged by motherhood to devote myself to my brood not mere language work…

Eventually, we turned over the language work and translation project to able native hands and I was freed to be a wife and mother without a competing role to play.  Soon,  I became their official ‘teacher’ as well and it was good.  This was a life I had not imagined but I thrived on it, grateful for the God who redirects our steps to fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts… even the desires buried beyond our own recognition…

Now that season too is coming to an end but still I am to follow Christ…If not into itinerate evangelism then what?  I cringe at the expectations put on me by stories of ‘great Christians’.  I have a static attraction for commands that are given to others, as if they were my own.  I hear the word ‘evangelism’ and wilt.  Guilt trips attach to me like lint to velvet.

Then I consider Jesus’ Parable of the Ten Minas…  (Luke 19; Mt.25)  how that the nobleman has gone into a far country to receive for Himself a Kingdom and then return…how that in the meantime he has entrusted his servants with  funds to invest.  He asks only that they ‘engage in business until [he]comes.’ Upon his return he is pleased with their investments, except for the one who has skulked away and refused to invest anything for the King’s benefit.  He claims to have been afraid and to have thought his lord to be harsh and unfair.  But he has not even put his allowance in the bank to gain interest.

I used to equate myself to this cringing worthless servant–Fearful of risk.  Fearful of opportunity—simply because I wasn’t doing what others seemed to think everyone should be doing.  I wasn’t evangelizing my neighbors, starting children’s clubs for straying goat herders,  or discipling anyone…(?) at least not in the romanticized ways I was picturing!

But this servant is called worthless, wicked and slothful and thrown into outer darkness.  Gulp.  This man’s story does not reflect what’s in my heart. I may be fearful but I am confident my Master is good, not harsh or exacting.  He is gracious, patient and persistent. He is at work in me to will and to do all His good pleasure.  I am not destined for the pit but for glory. I have long labored under false impressions of what is expected of me. I want to lay it down.

I want to be open to all He will yet invite me to participate in.  I have to remind myself that He knows the desires of my heart. And that He knows that I know that all that I have accomplished in these years of mothering and teaching, and yes, of soul-winning and discipling my own brood, all this has only been by His grace…I know these things.  And I can trust Him for tomorrow’s business. I can trust Him to shape the desires of my heart to fit His purposes.

He hasn’t returned yet.  There is still time to ‘engage in business’.  What minas do I hold in my hand?  Where can I invest them?  These are the things I consider as I carry on with the life He has given me to live.  I refuse to obsess about ‘spiritual gifts’.  I suspect that in the systematizing of these we have trampled and overlooked people’s unique designs and hindered the natural process of discovering our places in the Body. I am confident (for today anyway) that as I abide in the Word and let it abide in me, as I embrace godly fellowship, and as I walk in an attitude of submission day by day, attentive to the direction of my Head, the future will unfold as the past has—my heart shaped by His,  my will formed to coincide with His, my life purpose–His glory. 

For it is God that works in me to will and to do His good pleasure…(Phil.2:13)

–LS

This song says all:  By Grace Alone .  Enjoy.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Rom.12:1-3

2 thoughts on “Of Minas and life missions…

  1. This is an interesting phase of life we are in, Linda. In one respect, I feel as though the 'great work' I was born to do has been completed; in another respect, It seems as though the 'great work.' was a training for the next project, yet un-commissioned. My hope and belief is that He who colored the sky and designed the atom, will not waste the materials at his disposal.

  2. ( : You've put it so aptly. I do believe you're right. This truth is more easily witnessed in other people's lives! Still feeling myself as though 'older woman' is something I'm growing into and the cloak doesn't quite fit yet. Of course, it's relative to some extent isn't it! Thanks for your encouragement.

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