I never had the slightest interest in becoming a missionary. It looked too hard and too dirty, and I didn’t like the clothes.
WHEN I THINK OF MISSIONARIES, I THINK OF FEARLESS, RUGGED, SELFLESS PEOPLE, bravely going wherever God calls.
It’s funny because now, as an adult and a missionary, it’s very easy to see why I’m still not suited to missions.
1. I have no sense of direction.
I do not know the way to places I have gone to regularly for years. I get lost in buildings. My husband says I can’t find my way out of a paper bag. I rely on 7-year-olds to get me where I need to go. And yet, I lead mission teams around the world.
2. I am a picky eater.
I really only like fruit, bread, cheese and dessert. And I’m allergic to many fruits. If you travel much, you know cheese is pretty much only available in the US and Europe. And yet, I’ve eaten scorpions for Jesus.
3. I hate flying.
I get claustrophobic. I have a problem with my ears. In fact, an ENT (ear, nose and throat specialist) told me I cannot fly because of the way my ears are constructed. And yet, my passport needs extra pages because of how much I fly.
4. I am an introvert.
I get very nervous meeting new people and need time alone. And yet, my ministry requires me to meet new people all the time and on mission trips, I am with others 24/7, without a minute to myself. Ritz Carlton). And yet, I stay at places around the world with no air conditioning, no electricity and no plumbing.
6. I am a homebody.
I love to be home with my husband and children every night. I never join a Bible study or go to the gym in the evening or on the weekend, because it is so important to me be with my family when they are home. And yet, I have missed birthdays and anniversaries and soccer games more times than I like to admit.
7. I am a fearful person.
I don’t drive on the highway or go places alone. And yet, the Lord has sent me to India, China, Africa and beyond many, many times.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The Bible is full of examples of the Lord using unlikely people for his service.
He used Moses, a man who couldn’t speak well, not to mention the fact that he had murdered someone. He used Paul, a man who ruthlessly persecuted Christians. He used Rahab, the prostitute, and many others that we, in our earthly wisdom, would not have chosen.
And we know why he does this — to show his power. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us (2 Corinthians 4:7, ESV).
God chose me to be a missionary because no one who knows me would ever think that I am brave or bold. They know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that all the things that are accomplished are done through his power and not mine. God did not choose me despite my weakness; he chose me because of my weakness.
Maybe all those fearless missionaries I met as a child weren’t so fearless after all. Maybe they were divas and introverts and picky eaters. too.
And if you are thinking about the reasons God can’t or won’t use you, remember Moses and me, the fearful homebody.