However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” So, David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. – 2 Samuel 24:24
Eleven years ago, my wife and I moved from Pennsylvania to serve as overseas missionaries in West Africa. It wasn’t our first radical move. That one occurred in July 1987 when we moved the entire family from Georgia to Mississippi in order that I might attend Seminary. We had also moved from Mississippi to New York in January 1990 to find some way to serve the Lord there.
Why do it? Why have we chosen to follow the Lord with abandon (sometimes, seemingly reckless) around the world? Why do I continue to board airplanes and spend so much time away from home? The most difficult part of living a “missionary-life” (yes, culture shock, disease, lostness, heat, diet changes, and jet lag can be stressful, but with time these are overcome) is the separation from family. Why would we be willing to put God’s service above all other priorities?
While we have often been separated from those we love so much, and it has (at times) been painful, we have also had an amazing opportunity to draw nearer to the One we love SO MUCH MORE. Sounds spiritual, doesn’t it? Please, don’t be impressed! Many times over the years we have heard people say, “I don’t think I could do what you do.” Well, we are just as incapable of serving God as anyone, but God gives a person the grace he or she needs to accomplish what He desires.
The only answer is Christ … always has been … always will be. We serve … you serve … ONLY because of His presence and enabling grace. Now, go serve.
Our God has boundless resources. The only limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking, our praying are too small. Our expectations are too limited. – A. B. Simpson
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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