As global missionaries, we get to spend a fair bit of time looking at things from the vantage point of this photo. We often travel high above the earth where everything outside seems so pristine and far removed from the problems that we know are below. I can imagine that is the reason birds just soar – for the sheer fun of it, just because they can – to leave the dirt below. I am pretty sure that is what makes birds so arrogant.
We are are learning much. God carries us to some pretty divine highs. Knowing us as He does, He manages just the perfect balance between these and the ‘flat on our face’ moments that He weaves into our lives, bringing us into just the place He would have us. We so thank Him for bothering with us at all!
Witnessing and experiencing incredible acts of power infused love, we often find ourselves on our faces before Him. His Word guides and shapes us for the long haul. Life buffets and builds endurance and dependence. We fail. He keeps helping us to our feet and gently sets us back to take the next step. The opportunity was given us to work for three months so another family could travel high above the clouds to visit their family. That meant stepping off a plane… to live in Manila. My (Lynne) feelings regarding Manila are pretty well known so suffice it to say my attitude of gratitude needed some dusting off. God keeps shaving off my rough edges using very creative sandpaper!
It’s an amazing thing to step into a ministry that someone else calls ‘theirs’. In working the ministry as Guest House hosts, we laugh, growl, and stretch – mentally and physically. We experience brilliant successes (with TONS of help) and miserable mistakes (all on our own) and the constant receiving and giving of grace.
In all this we grow in appreciation of the many missionaries whose ministry is mainly for other missionaries – in classrooms, offices, clinics, airplanes and helicopters, and yes, guest home facilities. Our ministries for God are skillfully interwoven by Him. We are a team ministry. It’s just like in our churches where the ‘front line’ pastor and teachers are supported by their musical, clerical, and maintenance staff. Sadly, the support ministries are the least supported of all missionaries. Church after church turns down their support in favor of supporting ‘front line’ ministry. Truly, it is missionaries supporting missionaries that help them serve on those ‘front lines.’
Like our bird friends, we can soar above the path feeling a bit lofty. Perhaps attitude adjustments are necessary from time to time in churches, as well as individuals. Perhaps it is just a lack of understanding of what it takes for a team of missionaries to bring the Gospel to the unsaved. Pray and support all missionaries that leave family and home to serve Him anywhere! Pray that we avoid the trap of winged arrogance, rather staying grounded, as we tread together in our service to Him.