BY: Janet Henry
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Two Suitcases. Two suitcases is all I get. I could feel my breathing quicken and tears immediately well up in my eyes. I can do this. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS. I was trying my best to psych myself up to begin what has proved to be the hardest packing process of my adult life. Little did I know that when my husband and I took a short-term missions trip to Bolivia in 2010 that our lives would never be the same after that. Upon returning to the USA we knew we had a responsibility to do something to help these children. Every emotion I have about returning to the Bolivian Hope Center is full of anticipation and deep longing to see and hold those sweet children that have captured our hearts. What I wasn’t expecting was how I would feel leading up to the moment in which we would leave everything we know here in the USA and head out to the place of our calling in a couple of weeks.
I like playing it safe. I love stability. I love being surrounded by my family. The thought of saying goodbye to my family and friends rocks me to my core, BUT deep down I believe there is so much more waiting for us if we are simply willing. In life, our devotion to the Lord is severely limited when we place our fears and inability to leave what is comfortable to us. Christ did not die a terrible, gruesome death on the cross so I could give him a list of my cant’s and wont’s. Many times I have heard people say how impossible it would be for them to leave everything they know and move to a third world country. I get it. It really is impossible……without Jesus. It definitely was not in my plan for my life. All along it was always God’s plan. Jesus is the only reason I have thrown up my hands and surrendered everything that I ever wanted. It is in that surrender I found that I am truly fulfilled, no matter how much my flesh cries out to stay comfortable. So as the tears continue to pour from my eyes as I pack my life into two suitcases, I remember the sacrifice Christ paid so that “not one should perish” (2 Peter 3:9). I continue to look ahead when my heart grieves what I am leaving behind.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Because of Christ in us, we are God’s Plan A for reaching the lost. We need to be a little more proactive about getting out and sharing the Gospel with those whom have never heard. Before Christ ascended to heaven he gave each and every one of us a job to do. He said, “GO into all the world and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15). He said Go. He didn’t just say it to missionaries. He told us all to GO! When we realize that an estimated 66,000 people a day are dying without ever hearing the Gospel we should be so grieved that we will simply do whatever it takes, no matter the cost.
PRAYER: Lord, Help us to never be a people of inaction. Let us be moved with compassion to be your hands and feet to people in need. May we share the Gospel with everyone we meet being ever mindful of the price you paid for our salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am a missionary, a wife to Justin Henry, and mama to three amazing children. In just about 3 weeks our family will be heading out to live in Cochabamba, Bolivia for two years. We will be working at the Bolivian Hope Center, a home for children whose mothers are in prison.