Following Him to the Hard Place

We leave this weekend for New Missionary Orientation. It seems to have come upon us out of nowhere: we are suddenly face to face with an empty suitcase and a full itinerary.

We still haven’t packed a single thing.

Is this crazy, what we are doing? Uprooting our children and our dog and all of our belongings and moving to the unhappiest country in the world?

Well, yes.

It certainly is not in line with “the American Dream.” Nor is it even in line with the “Christian American Dream.” But I guess we don’t want either of those things. We want to know the Lord and make Him known. We want to point others to Him. And it’s not that we can’t do those things while staying in America. I firmly believe some people are meant to stay here.

But we aren’t those people, I suppose.

I had the following conversation the other day:

“Melissa, what if God isn’t REALLY calling you to Togo?”

“Then we won’t go.”

“But it’s been in your heart to move to Africa for decades.”

“I know. But even more than Africa is in my heart, obeying God is in my heart. If God closes this door to Togo, we will stay in America.”

I then confided to this person that it would be SO MUCH EASIER to not move to Togo. To not sell our house and leave my job and pack up all of our belongings and hug family and friends goodbye. But by doing so, we would be disobeying God

I’d rather follow Him to the hard place than leave Him for the easy place.

The thing is, Christ endured the hardest thing ever for me: Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?He endured the humiliation of the cross, the agony of separation from God. Why? For the joy that was set before Him. For us, His adopted brothers and sisters, co-heirs with Christ.

So we do the hard thing, too, knowing that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. And knowing that God is with us, is leading and guiding us, and going before us into all the unknowns up ahead.

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