Friday, February 22, 2008

Why Would People Put Themselves in Danger?

Here's an excerpt from an article written by Michelle Cantrell (click here to read the whole thing), a missionary to South Africa:
"I could faithfully serve Christ and the gospel in another country. But I wouldn't expect to reap the same amount of fruit as in a desperate place like Africa: “God chose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him.” (James 2:5). People here see their need for the Great Physician. People are suffering. We have the cure that they are asking for. The gospel (a biblical worldview) is the ultimate cure for AIDS and poverty and crime. In more western countries, people are deceptively self-sufficient and hardened to the gospel. Why not stay where the harvest is ripe and the workers are few?"

Many people are concerned about their children, and she answers that too:
"But what about our children? Isn’t their safety and future success more important than our fruitfulness or fulfillment? Yes, our children are our first and foremost disciples. Their safety is our responsibility. But their souls are our biggest concern. Do we want to teach them to run away from trouble or to run to the battle? Do we want to teach them that life is all about how much stuff you can accumulate and how comfortable you can be, or that life is about serving others, building Christ’s church, and giving up your life to find it? “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? (Mk 8:34-36).

I want my children to follow the examples of people like Jim Elliot who said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” As I think of protecting my children, I need to remember that there are other dangers beside physical ones. I would rather that they lose their lives than their souls. As they follow God and seek first His kingdom, He will provide for their needs (Matt. 6:33, Mark 10:29-31, Phil. 4:19). If they have a strong Christian character and work ethic they will not usually have trouble providing for their family wherever they live (Proverbs 10:4). I choose to stay because I don’t want to rob myself or my children of crowns that they can lay at the feet of our risen Lord."
The article ends with a challenge: "Where are you called to die?"

Reading this article causes me to again look at my life and consider what my priorities are. I want to follow God wholeheartedly. What has he called me to do? I don't think it's life as a missionary right now. It seems more to be a faithful engineer who does drawings and paperwork and other duties as needed. But, will I remain open to His call? Am I doing all the He has for me here? Am I willing to put myself in danger for Christ? These are questions that I am pondering today.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Miriam,

I wholeheartedly agree with her statement that the most important thing she wants to teach her children is their need for Christ as their Savior. They are no more in danger in Africa than in America. God's plan for them from birth to death and everything in between is figured out. I had an opportunity to share with my children today that there is no fear in death for those who believe Christ died for them. Whether its a hurricane, car accident, illness, etc. If we are Christians we'll be with Him in heaven.
Meanwhile on earth we are do His will for our lives. And the plan He has for us is no less important than that of someone elses. He is glorified when I clean the toilets for my family (done with the right attitude) just as much a missionary serving in a foreign country. We are each given different tasks to fulfill for His praise and glory.
And I praise Him for engineers...it's made toilet cleaning a whole lot easier! :)
love ya,
Michele