When I woke up this morning and lay in bed, my mind began conjuring up all the reasons why we shouldn't return to Jakarta in January (maybe you didn't know we are planning to do this). I think the only one that carried any merit is the essence of danger here. Living in a predominantly Muslim society does have its dangers. Because of the pastor in Florida that planned to burn 200 Koran on 9/11, we've had security warnings from the US Embassy not to go places where mobs gather. Jakarta would be a place to stay away from and that's where we go to church.
In other words, my spirit was whining!! I lay there for a while thinking of these things and I knew I was wrong. I began to pray and ask God for His peace. I got up (Harry was still snoozing) and came to the living room to do my devotions. I've been reading in Galatians. This morning took me to Galatians 5. Paul starts out talking about the freedom we have as believers, not by living under the Law, but by being justified by faith through Christ Jesus. As I read along, I came to verse 7 and 8:
"You were running well, who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you."
I stopped dead in my tracks. That's exactly what "someone" (Satan) was trying to do - persuade me into false thinking. The truth is that God said, "Follow Me," and in obedience we did - to Indonesia.
I began thinking of what He called us to; to be His light in a very dark and needy world. Our responsibility is to be faithful to that calling - no matter how big a task or how small. As I pondered this truth, Matthew 25:23 came to mind. Jesus was speaking about the parable of the talents when He said,
"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave (servant). You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' "
Anything God calls us to is not small when we are obedient to Him. The task itself may not be large, and may not be complex or complicated. In our case, we are very comfortable in a nice apartment. We have shelter, a place to sleep, food to eat, clothes to wear, people to love and who love us, a lot of time to read and enjoy each other, a beautiful view
from our window, comfortable weather (yes, even the humidity), and we just returned from a vacation in Bali. We are incredibly blessed compared to a large percentage of the world.
More than all of these comforts - and they are exactly that - comforts, we have students who need the light and love of Jesus to ooze all over them. That is easy for me. It would be easy to consider this calling less or small because I am not fighting starvation (although it is here), I am not sleeping in quarters with rats and cockroaches or lots of mosquitoes, my food is not infested with worms or bugs - I've got it pretty nice here.
This is my training ground. Jesus said if we are faithful in a few things, He will put us in charge of many things. The Holy Spirit has been my disciplinarian this morning and I'm thankful that He loves me enough to chasten me and is patient. His gentle voice and love renew my spirit and tears cleanse my soul.
Lord, forgive my spirit for whining. You've given me a calling that is precious to you and if just one student comes to know You, it is worth all the treasure in the world.
The cry of my heart is: Lord, may I be faithful in the few things you've given me to do here. Little is much when God is in it. May I live in the joy of my Master.