By Kate Beless
As a going away present when we moved to Africa, a friend gave me a devotional, Streams in the Desert.
It has been a wonderful resource for me because it is not a devotional that will give you “warm fuzzies” inside. Instead, it speaks truth and calls out the many emotions that sometimes come with walking with Christ. On December 21st, the devotional was a reflection on Deuteronomy 1:36: “…except Caleb. He will see this land because he has followed the Lord completely.”
An excerpt from that devotional really spoke to me. It reads:
“Every difficult task that comes across your path--everything that you would rather not do, that will take the most effort, cause the most pain, and be the greatest struggle--brings a blessing with it. And refusing to do it regardless of the personal cost is a missed blessing.”
Becoming a cross-cultural missionary was never in my life plan. I struggled with the Lord calling us over here because I was full of fear, anxiety, and knew I would miss “home." However, now that I have interacted with cross-cultural missionaries while being over here, I have realized a very select few of them actually felt the excited and yearning feeling we all think people who move across the world to do missions get when they are called by the Lord to go.
This doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy what they are doing--it is just hard to take that first step and then to not jump on a plane and go home on the hard days. We see this in the Bible as well. As I started reflecting on men and women like Moses, Jonah, Esther, and many others (even Jesus asked, “Is there any other way?”), I realized the Lord knows we will wrestle with the calling to step out of our comfort zone and into what may be really hard to do His will. But he promises His blessing.
Moving this far from home has been the most challenging thing I have ever done. But, I have seen His blessing. I have seen His sweet love for us. I have seen how He gives us what we need at exactly the time we need it. I have seen how the Lord desires to bless us. He is a loving Father and loves all of His children--American, South Sudanese, and people from every other nation--immensely.
How deeply we can experience it if only we are willing to step out on faith!
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:18-19