Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”
For a long time this verse has spoken to me; back to when I first went to Northern Ireland for 6 weeks, to this day. Even after returning I always wanted to do something, but I never knew what, when, or where. Every time I thought about it I would always seem to come up with any number of excuses on why I shouldn’t, couldn’t, and can’t go. How would I pay for this? What could or can I do, all I know is electronics? What about health care, and on and on and on. Satan can always find an excuse that will work.
A few years back I was working on a problem in the lab at work that I just couldn’t seem to understand, so I was able to get one of my former coworker’s Curt back from retirement to help me with it for a few weeks. Curt had retired about 2 years previously and when I took him to the lab, he stopped, looked around and made the comment, “you know, there is nothing here I worked on”. That started to get me thinking again, yeah nothing last except for God. Is what I’m doing really worth it? Curt had poured his life into that place, working long hours and weekends. He was a very knowledgeable and nice guy, always willing to help out. He had received an inheritance which allowed him to retire early; but it was too late, his marriage had pretty much fallen apart and eventually ended in divorce. Now, not even the things he had worked on for the last 20 years were still around. Did I really want this? Is God going to say, “Well done good and faithful servant” because I got the product design cycle down from 18 months to 14 months, or because I answered his call?
Not long after this, Mary started giving our things away, trying to down size. About a year or so after this incident with Curt I was laid-off. This was kind of devastating to me even though it wasn’t the first time; I still had a mortgage, bills to pay, kid’s tuition, etc. We started thinking about going into missions, so we started giving more things away. I was literally going every week to St. Vincent with another load of donations to the point that I couldn’t find a chair to sit in! By the time we were ready to sell the house, we were down to pretty much what I could fit in our 6 foot by 12 foot covered trailer that my father-in-law had given us. We were ready to go where ever we were sent.
Ok God where do we go? All the while we were waiting for Him to lead us; I was working a contract on a month to month basis for about a year. For years, Mary had been looking at an organization in Louisiana called Family Missions Company. They said they take Catholic singles, families, degreed, non-degreed, pretty much anyone who wants to share God’s love and that felt called to missions. So we went on one of their “Come and See” weeks because we needed to know that they were legitimate, and to feel comfortable with the ministry. It turned out to be a very good week. So much so, that we absolutely felt God calling us to serve Him in foreign missions.
Do I still have doubts about how everything is going to work out? Absolutely! But I have to trust in God and have faith that He knows my needs and He will be with me every step along the way. Early on in my life; while in the hospital after some major surgery, I cried out to God asking, “Why Me”? The answer came, “Why Not You”? Ever since then, I always accepted who I was. Here again I ask him “Why me, I don’t know what I’m doing”? And His response is still the same “Why not you”? In my career I used to ask to do things I didn’t know how to do simply because I didn’t know how to do it. Now God is asking me to do something I don’t know how to do. God constantly has to remind me that in my weakness he is strong. 2Cor 12:9-10” 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power[a] is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong”.
Will there be hard times? Yes indeed, no one gets out alive. We all have to die to ourselves to live, or we just die. We are only just visiting anyway, and our ultimate goal is to see the face of Jesus in Heaven. Compared to eternity our time here is short, I don’t want to be stuck saying I woulda, coulda, shoulda, Right now God is calling me to do this, so that is what I am going to do. All I want is for Him to ask me; I am not my own as it says in Jeremiah 10:23 “I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps”.