Yesterday was one of those days. A day where I felt so distinctly human, so undeniably sinful – a day where the vision in my mind of what a missionary should be – calm, peaceful, serene, soft spoken and God-honoring – were far from the reality I was reflecting.
A day where I felt like asking God, ‘Are you sure you want to use me? Are you sure you want to send me?’
And I did ask. I asked, I cried and I prayed. I took my patience-losing, voice-raising mess of a mother to the foot of the cross and this is what I heard.
I heard reminders of His love. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I heard reminders of His forgiveness. He has removed our sins as far as the East is from the West.
And I so clearly heard a powerful reminder that I am a work in progress. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.
For I am not a completed work just yet and I don’t need to be in order to be used here or in Papua New Guinea. I am a work in progress – both an unfit, undeserving beggar vying for the attention of the King and a beloved, precious, chosen daughter approaching that very same King with boldness and confidence all because of His love and forgiveness.
For ‘He not only forgave us, at the first, all our sins, but He continues daily to forgive, for the act of forgiveness is a continuous one.’ (Spurgeon).
What a blessing. What a promise. What a relief.
So, as I took a breath and thought on these things. I was encouraged to hold tight to this love, to claim this forgiveness daily and to lean into Jesus – the One who loves me, is not done with me yet and the One who wants, more than anything, to use this messy, broken, mother to share His love with my children, my husband, the people around me here and the people I will meet in PNG. the One who knows that He is using a broken, jar of clay, but who does so willingly, knowing full well that it is through that brokenness, that His character, His love and His life-saving forgiveness will shine best.
So, if you ever feel yourself hesitating at an opportunity to serve God because of your brokenness, remember that this vulnerability and dependance are not roadblocks to effective service, but rather the very stepping stones on which you can run to the Father for help and, on the way, have the most amazing opportunity in your completely broken state to be a furtherer of God’s kingdom – a missionary, regardless of where you are or what you’ve done – a missionary, not in spite of but, in so many ways because of your mess.
Recognize and embrace this dichotomy, praise the One who delights in using the broken and thank God for whatever your mess looks like today. He wants to use you, he wants to use me (amazingly!) and He doesn’t mind our mess. Thank you Jesus.