Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Missionary Lament

By Julie Mosse

Most missionary newsletters are packed with stories of blessing, miracles, changed lives. So sometimes it’s probably good, maybe healthy to see a glimpse of the struggle that life can be. We could fill pages with the things God is doing here in Odessa. We’ll indulge this urge on the flip side, But here we’re gonna vent. Consider this missionary newsletter a “lament.”
It’s been a painful year for us. If we go by feelings, we’ve felt tremendous pressure to give more than we have. At times, we’ve felt inadequate, misunderstood, lonely, broken. We’ve felt naive, unnoticed, yet at times, intruded upon, underprepared, blindsided, scrutinized. We have felt like our decisions, reactions, and our words were often found seriously lacking. We seriously wondered if we were cut out for this life, and for the responsibilities God seemed to have handed to us. We’ve questioned whether God had really led us to this place in His harvest or if in our foolishness and pride, we presumed too much. Our marriage has been stretched too thin at times. Sometimes, we’ve been afraid for this basic unit called Our own unity feels shaky. Our kids have also struggled. How and when to fit into the culture and existing groups of friends, and when and how to stand for what you believe in...? Hard for them to reenter the culture after a year.

Are we making wrong decisions? Are we bringing this havoc on ourselves? Do we quit or weather the hard times?? And we don’t even have any “real” crises to point to as the cause of our grief. No war, no sickness. Just relationships and responsibilities, and foreignness. ...We are really feeling the pain of continually living at the end of our character, and doing so in “living color.”

We know. This sounds absolutely pitiful. It is. And you know? The funniest thing brings so much peace about now… ”I chose you to suffer with Me.” Strange, huh? Our being stretched and seeing our weakness is part of our suffering with Christ. Here it is:

“...for momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen…”


“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Finally, from another who lamented,

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me.”