I am discontent with my wife.
Today my wife left me. She left me with the kids. She left me with making lunches for schools. She left me with washing clothes. She left me with making dinners. She left me to sleep alone in our room. She left me alone with bills. She left me.
She left me for another man.
She left me for other kids.
She left me for a higher calling.
And I couldn’t be happier. Yep.
Today my wife left me to answer Jesus’ call to meet the needs of the kids and people of Uganda, Africa. Years ago, I stood in front of my congregation and said these words, “I know God is working on my heart about the people of Africa. I do not know what he wants me to do, or where He wants to go. I just know that he wants me to do something with Africa.” Little did I know that what He wanted me to do is stay here so that my wife could go.
She is on a medical mission. Among other things, the team made up of mainly dentists and nurses, will train the local dentists on how to meet basic dental needs and to teach basic dental hygiene. They packed as few personal effects as possible so that they could fill the remaining space with thousands of toothbrushes, books, portable dental chairs, and other supplies. They will be working with the poorest of the poor, the orphans, the outcasts, the ones that have no hope of receiving even the minimalist of health care. Mostly, they will be teaching how to brush teeth and how to pull teeth. Without this knowledge, many people could die of mouth diseases that are virtually non-existent in the West.
My wife knows NOTHING about medical mission. NOTHING. Well, she knows how to brush her own teeth. But that’s about it. What is SHE doing on this mission???
That’s the point.
The words of Isaiah ring so loud that almost burst my eardrums, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.”
You see, falling on our knees, opening our arms and spreading them as wide as possible before the Almighty and simply making ourselves available in all our weakness is the only qualification God needs for His missionaries to change the world. No arrogance; only humility. No security; only trust. No control; only God. That’s the formula for transformation…of others, and ourselves.
Here in the U.S., we wonder why God doesn’t seem more active in changing lives. We wonder why we don’t see miracles. We wonder why God doesn’t fix our towns, cities, governments.
To me it’s clear.
We wrap our arms so tightly around ourselves believing that the tighter we hold on to ourselves, to our families, to our cars, our homes, our pocketbooks, our 401Ks, our schedules, our jobs, our time….then we think we are in control of our circumstances. We are tempted to believe we are secure. When our fists are wrapped so tightly around our lives, there is little room for God to work a miracle. Simply put, we trust ourselves more than we trust God.
Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do in our faith is loosen our grip…move to the edge…push our comfort zone…take a risk….put ourselves in the way of God’s amazing Grace…and…. …………let go.
Where do you need to “let go?” Where do you need to open your arms and pray, “God…you got this. You got me. I’ll give it a try.”
Maybe it is praying out loud for the first time in your small group. Maybe it is simply joining a small group.
Maybe it’s devoting the first 5 minutes of your day to praying and reading scripture. Maybe it’s devoting the first hour.
Maybe it’s praying in public. Maybe it’s praying for the public.
Maybe it’s admitting you have a substance problem. Maybe it’s an anger problem. Or depression.
Maybe it’s telling your spouse the truth. Or hearing the truth.
Maybe it’s changing careers. Maybe it’s answering a call.
Maybe it’s dedicating your life to serving the poor.
Maybe it’s tithing your income. Maybe it’s just giving something for the first time.
Maybe it’s teaching a class. Or taking a class.
Maybe it’s going to worship every Sunday…even on vacation. Maybe it’s simply going to worship one Sunday.
Maybe it’s forgiving someone that unforgiveable act. Or seeking forgiveness of your unforgiveable act.
Maybe it’s going across town to read to some underprivileged kids; or across the state on a choir tour; or across the nation to run a marathon to raise awareness of an injustice.
Or, maybe it is going to Africa on a medical mission.
The point is, if you want to experience God’s transforming love and power in your life, you have to give Him room to work. Just like my wife.
I trust that God will do amazing things THROUGH my wife IN Africa. But I also can’t wait to see the amazing things God will do IN my wife THROUGH Africa.
My wife left me today. And I couldn’t be happier.
She’s my hero.