I am the most unlikely candidate for a ministry to the nations. I really am. I am someone who likes to be home, who does not like to travel, prefers not to take a holiday as that means I need to go somewhere… I prefer to read and write much more than speak and minister. I feel no need to see other nations or meet more people. I certainly have no interest in being known or being in demand as a minister of the Gospel. I would be very happy pastoring a local church and loving the people that God gives to me to care for. But, that was not God’s plan – but it is the way He operates.
God chooses the rustic, barely educated fisherman Peter to carry the Gospel to the cream of Jewish society. And, He sends Paul, with his elite education and sterling religious pedigree, to pagan Gentiles who couldn’t care less about his Jewish credentials. So, as I look at my life and growing international ministry I am well aware that I am NOT a walking advertisement for the power of natural talent, clever strategy, and brilliant marketing. I’m a living, breathing testament to the power of God’s unfathomable grace.
In reality I am simply responding to what the Holy Spirit is doing. I always feel one step behind – and that is good as I am following Him as He leads. I often feel that I am over my head and into territory that is unfamiliar and certainly not comfortable. This too is good as then I will trust in Him and not in my own abilities and talents (which are really few). In spite of my natural leanings as an introvert I do enjoy what He has called me to do and this is certainly His grace working powerfully each time I step out in faith and say yes to a new opportunity. In my mind I am the least likely person anyone would choose for the job – but then, it is not a job, it is a calling and it is my calling.
I am looking forward to 2013 and beyond and all the opportunities and challenges that the new season will bring. I am put in remembrance of a verse The Lord shared with me three years ago during a summer camp I was teaching at… “”Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.” (Acts 18:9b-10 ESV).