I came across a graphic on another blogger’s Instagram page the other day, and it literally stopped me in my tracks… like my fingers were just a scrolling, and then BAM. I was shook. The graphic was very simple, and it only had 4 words. It said:
Since then, I have come to know that these are song lyrics from Kendrick Lamar, but that’s not really what I’m here to talk about with you today…
Usually, when I think of being humble, my mind drifts off to stories of Mother Theresa who humbly served the neediest of the needy and the poorest of the poor. I imagine what it’s like to selflessly serve others knowing that you will never have any physical or monetary compensation. The idea of being humble seems really lovely, especially when you look at the public examples we have had over the decades.
One of my favorite Bible verses of all times is a quote from Peter that says Here am I, Send me. This has been my prayer so many times throughout my adult life. Born with the desire to travel the world, the very thought of serving in ministry in the outermost depths of the earth make my heart race. For some reason or another, I felt that this was the strongest expression of humility before God – to humble yourself with a willingness to go anywhere He placed you.
I remember praying every day my Freshman and Sophomore year of College that God would send me on a missions trip to somewhere incredible. Back then though, my prayers weren’t quite like that though… They were full of Send me, send me!! Pick me! Pick me! I’ll go! After two and a half years of not being sent, I started to wonder if I was unsendable. I got deeper in the Word. I continued to pray. And before I knew it, He was sending me somewhere that I had never considered going before and my life was changed forever. But this post isn’t about being sent. It’s about those times when we beg God to send us, and instead, He says, Sit down.
I was talking with a few friends about this the other week at church, and they agreed that they had felt this way. One of the girls even said something along the lines of Yes, I’m like God, send me! Send me anywhere! I just want to know that I’m serving YOU! and I just thought, WOW! How selfless!? I think this is often our heart’s desire, and it’s really confusing when don’t quite get the response from God that we are expecting.
That’s when you start to realize that maybe God is responding, but He’s not telling you what you want to hear. What if He isn’t telling you to go serve in this really epic way where you get to make a huge impact in another country and receive the instant gratification that you are doing a good work for the Lord? What if instead, He is telling you to sit down?
(Stop. Re-read the paragraph above.)
Okay little rebel, so you didn’t re-read it… I said What if instead, He is telling you to “SIT DOWN.”?
Just in case you haven’t heard these words before, I can tell you from personal experience how it feels. Picture me at 12 years old, sitting in church and for the first time ever, I’m listening to a missionary speak about their work in the mission field. Instantly, I’m feeling the call into ministry, specifically the call to GO. Shortly after, little teen me writes my dad a letter telling him that I feel led to become a missionary to a Spanish speaking country. (In the letter I said Mexico, but at 12 years old, the only two countries I knew of were the US and Mexico… It just made sense that all missionaries go to Mexico).
A few years later, I’m in high school trying to pick a college and my major, and I’m realizing that Missionary isn’t exactly a 4-year degree program… like anywhere. So I go down a different path, but I’m still feeling that I’m missing out or honestly that I was messing up. Fast forward to my first few years of college, and we are back where this blog post began. I was praying for and signing up for every mission trip that came my way. And let me tell you, when you go to a Christian University, you pretty much learn about a new mission opportunity every week. So, for 3 years I applied for trips and got rejected. I learned that I wasn’t “mission material” and that I needed to “grow more” and develop “spiritual discernment”. I was hearing these comments from people who didn’t even know me aside from a little slip of paper that I filled out while applying to their trip. Nonetheless, I was in the process of being humbled and it was breaking me. For almost 3 years, God told me to sit down, and I didn’t like it.
Then, as many of you know, God opened a door. He didn’t open just any door that I signed up for. He opened the right door, a door that would lead to life-long friendships, deep-rooted investments in people instead of things, and the opportunity to serve in a Spanish speaking country.
And I know you think the story ends there, but it doesn’t. God continues to tell me to sit when all I want to do is stand. I would give just about anything to be called to full-time ministry on the mission field where I could live in Nicaragua or anywhere really and serve, day in and day out, making an impact with measurable results. But you see, something that I didn’t realize until very recently is that God did call me to another country to serve. I’m not living in my home country. I’m living in Canada, and even though it’s not a 3rd world country where poverty looks you directly between the eyes everywhere you turn, He still sent me. I’ve been here, sitting while I should have been standing and serving here. But instead, I was complaining that I wasn’t somewhere else.
I can’t sit here and tell you that I’m humble because, well honestly… I don’t know that I am. But what I can tell you is that sometimes it takes more humility to sit than it does to stand.
– the Wife