An open letter to God,
Okay Lord, please speak. Please calm my fears and show us who you are.
Right now, my roommate is blasting worship music as she attempts to get through a difficult situation, one that makes it harder for her to trust in God, our Father. It feels like midnight in Oneonta New York, even though it’s only 10pm, and as my thoughts ramble, I stumble upon my desire to trust in God. And that feels like a good starting point, so I’ll start there.
When it comes to my history with trusting God, I’m grateful to have a good number of memories to look back on of opportunities to trust in God. I believe He’s always been there for me, even though I doubt. A little less than three years ago, while I was attending SUNY Oneonta I heard about missions in China that were inviting college students specifically to come for nine months and share the gospel with Chinese college students. I started off with a hard “No” in my mind. I knew it was a good thing, but I didn’t think it was for me. Over time and through people asking me why I didn’t want to go, the desire grew in my heart, and I found no foundation for my saying no… I’m still not sure why I, specifically, should have gone to China. I have no burning passion of vision for that nation. I just went! And it was wonderful-God, it was agonizing at times. But it was an awesome adventure.
I know our lives with God are meant to be adventures. If anyone feels like it’s meant to be boring, get that out of your head right now!! To live with God is to know God, and the One who makes the mountains melt like wax and passionately loves you is not boring!! We gotta seek Him though. There’s no true joy to be found outside of Him. I’m so happy to know that, to know that my God is the truth and my God is good. He promises to keep us safe, even though we will walk through “fire” at some points.
So, I honestly have not fully figured out the mental process I went through before agreeing to go to China. I know I wanted to go, and I had fears that it was the wrong choice for me. Eventually, I pushed those fears aside. I think God was the one who gave me the ability to do that, because I certainly wasn’t qualified to be an international missionary, haha. As far as comfort zones go, mine is very small, sometimes limited to doing nothing. Because I’m uncomfortable with anything I can’t do perfectly, beyond the reach of criticism. But nothing in life is perfect. Everything involves risks. Maybe it just matters what we’re risking and what are our rewards.
Are we risking our pride? Are we risking our feeling of control? I think pride may be the biggest one. Whether it’s parental approval, social advantage, or something utterly different; I believe Jesus calls us to lay these things down. Everything I’m saying here, I’m saying to myself. I speak it because it’s a fight to believe it.
I’d like to wrap up this ramble by saying this-adventure is awesome. I think we all hunger for it in some form. On the other hand, risk is scary. It’s a fear of loss, but in Christ, we lose things we cannot keep in order to gain Him, something we cannot lose. So. I’d say, take risks for Christ, knowing that He loves you and He died so that you would know that. Don’t lose heart, even though the world is trying to tear us down. When we feel weakest, we have access to Jesus’ insanely untouchable victory on the cross. Don’t lose heart. Don’t stop going. Sometimes, even hoping feels like a risk. A risk of getting hurt, but we don’t hope in some flimsy promise. We hope in a bedrock that cannot be moved.
*Lilly was asked to share her experiences here to encourage college students in getting more involved in world missions. Campus Ambassadors is a college ministry in Oneonta New York. We will be going to Guatemala this Winter Break for a missions trip. If God is working on your heart to be a part of this feel free to contact us on details. We will be having an interest meeting Sept 23rd.*