Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

 

It has been a few months since I have written anything here on my little blog. The silence has not been because of our transition to a new village. It isn’t because I haven’t had anything to write about; but simply because it has been easier not to. It is easier to be quiet than to wrestle with words and motives of the heart. I have fought so much fear with each path the Lord has called me along. Fear of what others may think. Fear of not giving the glory to Jesus alone. Fear of humiliation. Fear of pride.

Rather than deal with the fear, it has been easier to hide.

It has felt safer to be quiet.

I thought I was taking the higher road.

Until it no longer felt like the right road – or the easy road.

A few weeks ago, after a morning of homeschooling Izzy and Judah, I took my Bible, a notebook, and a book I have been reading out to my in-laws beautiful backyard in California. It was peaceful, quiet and I was so grateful for the extended time to spend with the Lord.

The book I was reading led me to a parable in Matthew 25:14-30; The parable of the three servants who were entrusted with an amount of money while their master went on a trip. The story tells us of how they each invested the money given to them and the subsequent reaction of their master. The two servants who had been given the larger amounts of money had invested it and gained more money. Their master, on his return, was so pleased with their faithfulness that he entrusted them with even more responsibilities.

However, it was the third and final servant who had my full attention. He was afraid of losing the money and so he hid it in the ground. He buried what was given to him and, due to fear, he missed the opportunity to invest it.

He buried it because he was afraid he wouldn’t handle it correctly for his master.

It sounded awfully familiar.

The book I was reading said, “In doing no wrong, he did the biggest wrong of all by not taking initiative, not taking part in what the Master was doing.” – Dallas Willard.

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It is easier to hide, it is easier to be quiet, it is easier to stay in the background – but it isn’t always right.

As children of God, he has saved us, redeemed us and given us a new life to live for Him. He has given us all different abilities, opportunities, gifts and desires and He wants us to invest them in the kingdom of God, for His glory alone.

Our opportunities may seem so much smaller than others around us. But, it isn’t important how much he has placed in our hands, but rather how much we are willing to give back to Him. God doesn’t call us all to be successful, but He does want us to be faithful. It was the faithfulness of the first two servants that the master praised. It is our faithfulness that brings praise to our Heavenly Father.

It is easier to hide on the pew at church, than to sign up to help with Vacation Bible School.

It is easier to stay at home than to go to the prayer meeting.

It is easier to let another week go by, than to extend a hand of hospitality to the new family in your neighborhood, or in your church.

It’s easier to use our “gift of the gab” with friends than to use that gift to honor and praise the Lord in our conversations with whomever we meet.

We can excuse our silence and our inactivity away with false humility; that someone else can say it or do it better. However, by doing nothing we fail to be faithful to the Lord with the little He has asked of us.

We can tell ourselves that our little bit won’t ever make a big difference to anyone in the church, or in the community, or in our family. And it is true, no one may ever notice the things that we do, but the Lord sees the faithfulness of our hearts and He is the One whom we serve.

So if, like me, you have been standing back, sitting down, ignoring the prompts and letting doubt and fear keep you back, let me encourage you to look again at what the Lord has given you and to consider giving it back to Him. No matter how small it may seem, not matter how little time you can give – give it all. We have nothing to lose when we give it to Jesus. He is the Lord of taking the inadequate, the not enough, and using it for His purposes to bring honor and glory to His name.

I recently read this quote and it turned all my insecurities upside down as the perspective of eternity filtered through all these hours and days we have been given.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”  Emma Bombeck.

That’s what I long for – no matter how uncomfortable it may feel for me here.

There is a difference in burying something and planting something. One is to hide, the other is to grow. One follows death and the other leads to life.

I don’t want to hide from fear or insecurity, I want to grow and live fully the life that God has given to me.

The beautiful, life-giving truth is that we have nothing to fear when we live fully for our God. He is not a harsh taskmaster, but a loving Heavenly Father who sent His only Son to make a way for us to forever be made right with Him. Hopefully, as we really ponder this truth, it will move more than our emotions and it will send us back out into the world to dig up the opportunities we have been given, the gifts we have buried, and the talents we have overlooked. Instead may we plant them in faith believing that our Father has a purpose for our lives in the great Kingdom of God.

Let’s step out in faith, not fear, and invest our lives for eternity. Jesus isn’t asking us to be great – just to be faithful.

Love,

Philippa.

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We are now back from California and we are on the last leg of getting our home ready for our family to be able to move into the new village we will be living in. There are lots of obstacles – mainly with a very muddy road that makes it difficult to get our water tank and other necessary items into the village. We greatly appreciate your prayers for these next weeks as we try to move in and settle into our new home. We can’t wait to get to know these little faces we had the privilege to meet when we visited in March.

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