Will I Live the Life God Asks Me to—Today? :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

Will I Live the Life God Asks Me to—Today?

Rebekah Crain
2:08 read

It’s one of those days. Seemingly everything from the printer to the washing machine declares mutiny and goes on strike. The kids are sick—again. It’s dry season. Water is at a premium, and your dear little one wets the bed again. Better yet, you just missed your international flight and now have an unexpected, unwanted week to wait for the next available flight. Maybe you’re just stuck in the mundane routine of life and ministry. You haven’t left a three-mile radius of your home in over eight months, and you really want a change of scenery, but there’s no place to go. You start saying to yourself, "So this is missionary life, huh?" Without realizing it, you’re muddling through each day with an undercurrent of discontent, frustration, and plain old grumpiness.

What’s one to do? You know this attitude is not what God has for you. Where’s your joy? Where’s your gratitude? Where’s your love? A few years ago, I ran across this question: “Will I live the life God asks me to?” For me to answer “yes,” I must bring my heart to the point of SUBMISSION. As daily events unfold before me—usually not in keeping with my “To-Do” list—I have a choice. This is what today holds. “Will I live the life God asks me to live today?” This is what God, in His providence, has ordered for my day. Will I live the life He asks me to live—willingly?

Sitting in my freshman “Principles of Christian Growth” class and feeling my heart drawn to a lifetime of cross-cultural ministry was glorious! “Here am I; send me!” But when that “send me” includes infuriatingly confusing government paperwork, I’m not so ready to live this life. I had something different in mind—more along the lines of adorable children begging for another story from God’s Word as I fluently and effortlessly communicate the Gospel in their language.

I was on board with the BIG LIFE PLAN as an overseas missionary. But how that plays out in the minutia, well, that’s a different story. I find myself much less submissive to God’s ordering of this day. Instead of joyful obedience to my Father, I find myself, like my four-year-old, trudging along with a sad, gloomy spirit, letting everyone who bumps into me know that I’m not happy about today.

Goethe famously penned, "Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done." But how to love government paperwork? How to find joy in another ten-hour day on the road after two years of deputation? Do I have, as Goethe and all others outside of Christ, only my resolve and fortitude upon which to draw? (I know all too well how quickly that supply vaporizes.) As a child of God, I know there is a better way than just “putting a good face on it,” to quote a personal Narnian favorite, Puddleglum.

What is that better way, but the one prepared for me by my Savior, who is Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life? In Him, I have all the riches of my Father’s abundant grace at my disposal, and that grace enables me to submit my heart. I can learn to rest and embrace what my Father, in His unfailing wisdom, has ordered for me today. Through quietness and trust, the Holy One of Israel renews my strength (see Isaiah 30:15). By His Spirit, I can submit my heart to the events of the day, and then amazingly, joy, peace, and gratitude preempt discontent, frustration, and grumpiness. Indeed, I can anchor my firm trust in my Heavenly Father concerning everything, every day, that befalls me.

"Yes, by your grace, I will live the life You, my Father, ask me to live—today."