As long as ...

Chris Pirtle

So, I got word from God about something I was struggling with. It was a few weeks ago while we were at Falls Creek. I had been wrestling with making a decision about going to East Asia. Now some might think, “Hey this is a no-brainer, East Asia? Most people would jump at the opportunity to go to a cool place like that.” But I’ve made that trip a number of times, and I know that for me it’s a tough trip to make. And while we are there, we are busy.

Our Missionary friends keep us moving. With my physical limitations it’s a big deal, plus there is a good amount of recovery once we get home. And it’s already been a busy year, and it’s only July. Working with students keeps us on our toes. And it involves a lot of travel. (Can you hear the whining yet?) So, I’m beginning to feel a lot like Jonah. Plus, I’m starting to get the idea that God wants me to go. And I’m thinking – I don’t want to. We have a full schedule without making that trip. Don’t get me wrong, I love our people there. I believe in what we’re doing, and totally support the effort. But I think that they will be just fine without me along.

So now I’m feeling like Jonah more than ever. “I just wanna stay here and enjoy the shade of this big bush.”

We’re now at Falls Creek and I need to make a decision about this trip because Karen is going to be buying the tickets any day now. So I go off by myself and begin to pray for an answer from God about staying at home, besides the rest of the group is way more qualified to go on this trip than I am anyway. It’s at this point that I receive what a friend of mine refers to as her “aha moments.” I had been reading in Romans and it became clear to me, that as long as I am here, alive and available, it is my responsibility to serve Him who first loved us. It is His will for me to go and serve Him. I had been reading the whole first part of Romans but specifically Romans 8:18-39. And when I read verse 18, I knew I could not just sit in the shade of the withering bush and complain. I needed to go. As long as I am here, I need to go.

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