When Brian first told me he felt led to do missions in Africa, I thought, “Good for you, buddy! Have fun with that!”
That was almost 14 years ago.
Fast forward to today, and I can say that not only do I feel called to go to Africa, but I count it all joy to be able to say yes and follow God to Ethiopia. I am a planner and a list maker, but God has shown me that His ways are higher than mine, and always, oh, so much better!
Surrender is hard. It involves digging deep within to let go of that which you hold closest to your heart. It involves saying that you are willing to let another lead you through the battle.
I love the story of a little girl who was given a necklace for her birthday that looked like pearls. Every night her dad would come in at bedtime and ask her if he could have the necklace. She would clutch them tighter and grimace, not wanting to let go of that which she so loved. He would relent, but the next night he would ask again. As the days went by, he could see the struggle in her heart as it manifested in her eyes; those which loved her daddy and wanted to obey, but also loved her precious necklace. Finally one night, as he came in, she handed him the necklace with tears in her eyes. As she did, a smile broke upon her father’s face. He took the necklace, and then with a father’s joy reached into his pocket to give her a replacement…a real pearl necklace.
Isn’t this so with us? We think we want something so badly, thinking it’s the best, it’s our favorite, there’s nothing I want more. And yet, God has more for us. He wants us to let go, to know that what He’s asking of us will be real and beautiful, and the things, hopes, dreams, and desires that we hold so tightly to pale in comparison to the splendor and joy He is ready to give us. As I have learned to say yes over the last 14 years, I have learned to trust in His asking, to know that what He has for me is good. Amazing. Incredible. He has never promised that it would be easy, but that in Him we are overcomers.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
So we hold tight to the Lord as we have handed Him our greatest treasures, and we trust the beauty that awaits us in Soddo.