Becoming a missionary is not always easy. David Byrne once asked, “How did I get here?” It is a question I have asked myself several times in the last few months. Less than a year ago I was a police officer in Texas. I had a career and a pension. My wife and I had a house with a big backyard and a swimming pool where my three young kids loved to play. We had a church family that we love and that love us. We felt set. We were on cruise control. And then we said ‘yes’ to God’s plan.
Let me back up a bit. There are details that need to be made known. Let’s go back two years. It was two years ago that I took a class on missions, only looking for a little inspiration. I was interested in missions. I was interested in serving Christ. But let us be honest here, I was wondering how I could serve him on my terms. And that just is not how God works. That just is not his plan.
Becoming a missionary is about God’s plans
The class talked about God’s plan. His big plan. The plan. They spoke of the very reason God bestowed his blessing upon Abraham. He was blessed so that he could bless others. From the beginning, God sought to bless the nations. He sought to bring every tongue and tribe home to him. But wait, there was more.
The plan has not changed. We serve an unchanging, all-knowing, and infinite God of creation. He still loves ALL people and ALL nations. He has blessed us so that we can bless others. His plan is still the same. And if I had any remaining questions about my involvement in God’s plan and becoming a missionary, there was better news yet. He wrote down a few instructions.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
Turning off cruise control
I did not need to wait for a call, a letter, a postcard or a telegram. God wrote it down. Actually, He did more than that. He came to us, fully man and fully God, and told us exactly how we fit into his plan. This was great news. There was only one problem. My family and I were on cruise control and God was asking us to turn off the road we were on.
We said, “Yes Lord.” We packed up and sold a house, saying goodbye to friends and family we love. We now find ourselves serving Christ among the nations in New York City. Becoming a missionary is not always easy, but when we find ourselves asking, “How did we get here?” We smile and we thank the Lord that he has a plan.