Sometimes, I feel like I am in the classroom again.
Remember those times (or maybe you weren’t the I-really-know-the-answer!-type of child) when the teacher asked a question, and you were bouncing up and down, staying in your seat as much as you possibly could, while raising your hand as high as it could go (preferably higher than all the other hands stretched into the air around you!)? Those times when you desperately wanted the teacher to call on you, because you really did know the answer to this question!
When in your heart, you are desperately wishing “pick me! pick me! Every time I hear someone teach from these passages, I feel like that little girl again.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?
And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I, send me!”
“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.”
In my heart, I yearn for Him to pick me. I want to go to a people group that, unless someone treks out into the jungle somewhere, learns their language and translates God’s Word into that language, they would not hear the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You may or may not know this about me, but I grew up in Bolivia, South America, because my parents are missionaries. At a young age, I saw with my own two eyes what it meant to “go into all the world” and “whoever loses his life for my sake will keep it”.
The first area my parents worked in when we got to Bolivia was “the contact team”. A group of about five men and their families went into the jungle, made homes, carved an airstrip out of the dense jungle and worked constantly to contact a small band of Indians, whom they knew to be traveling in that part of the jungle. The Yuqui were the first people that God imprinted on my heart.
All of us older kids would take turns watching the gift rack with a pair of binoculars. Are you wondering what in the world is a “gift rack”? The men constructed a simple rack in a clearing at the other side of the banana patch where they could hang gifts for these people.
Sugar, bananas, fresh meat…items which the Yuqui might be tempted to steal from nearby locals, thus putting themselves in danger of being killed. We children did our part, sitting in one of the houses, staring down the 100 yards or so through the banana plants, just waiting to see some sign of movement, some hint that the gifts the men had left at the gift rack were being taken by these people we were eager to know.
During those years, I was unaware of the grave danger that my dad and the other missionary men were sometimes in…leaving the safety of our little clearing at the edge of the Rio Vibora, in order to search in the jungle for this people group that was literally at the edge of eternity.
The Yuqui finally did come into contact with these faithful men who were willing to lose their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Relationships and the process of sharing Jesus Christ began.
The heartbreaking fact is that although each of these missionaries, by the grace of God, came out of that jungle alive and well, over one half of that tribal group entered eternity without Christ when they tried to steal from the local nationals. They were killed without knowing the truth of who Jesus Christ is, and that He came specifically to die for them, to make a way for them to spend eternity in heaven. The remaining few of this tribe were taken in by another closely-related group, a group which, many years previous, had missionaries go through the same process with them; a group that was now established and had God’s Word translated into their own language.
I cannot write these words without crying.
Because although it is too late for those Yuqui that died those many years ago, there are still so many people groups like them-all over the world. People groups that, unless someone goes, they will not know the Truth.
and so I sit here like a little girl, crying out, “Lord, pick me! I’ll go!”
But, for some reason, He doesn’t. I’ve asked myself what is wrong with me. Am I not good enough? Why won’t He choose me? I’ve asked myself these things so many times over the last few decades, and my heart breaks every time I seem to get “passed over”.
Until this last time I heard those passages. Our pastor spoke again on the fact that we are called to “go into the world”. And in my heart was that little girl begging to be picked…crying to be picked.
And the next day, I opened up God’s Word and started reading about spiritual gifts. This is not something new for me, I am familiar with these passages. But that day, as I started reading how God gives and equips us each a specific task to do, I started thinking (with a huge lump in my throat), what if going to an unreached people group is not what God has called me to do?
What if all this time in saying “no”, it was so that I could be free to do what He has called me to do (which is another blog post altogether!).
What if He was protecting me by not giving me what I wanted and what I continued to ask for?
So, I sit here today thinking to myself…
Okay, maybe the job God created me for is here in the United States (I’ll be honest, my mind is full of “but, Lord’s…”) instead of in a third world country. I have no right to say to the potter, “what are You making?” (Isaiah 45:9) I will obey. I will stop frantically trying to get His attention, and stop pulling to go somewhere He may not intend for me.
But, the fact remains that someone needs to go.
Is it you?
If it is, I will do whatever I can to support you, in whatever way I can. There are still people on this planet that need to hear. And God is the one who says,
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?
As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!”
Ask Him. He might be picking you!