When one of the pastors on staff at my church announced to the congregation that we’d be sending a team to Haiti to deliver 200+ water filtration systems, my heart did somersaults in my chest.It was a terrifying and exciting thing to sign up for a mission trip, especially to one of the most impoverished nations in the world. Bravery felt like it was flowing from my finger tips as I wrote my name and contact information on the sign up sheet in the back of the worship center.
I had just received the news that I was losing my full time job, and I had yet to receive word on a new place of employment, so I was putting all my eggs in God’s basket on how this would even be possible, with a price tag of $1,500 for the trip.
Just a week after bravely scrawling my John Hancock on a piece of paper, I was approached my a sweet couple that wanted to fund my trip in full. One of our pastors who would be helping to lead the trip grabbed me up in a hug when he heard the news. There was so much excitement and I was thrilled that God had come through.But just as sudden as the somersaults of my heart had started, it came to a halt. As I sat in my living room whispering prayers over preparing my heart for this trip, I felt a whisper come back that simply said, “It’s not your time”. And the reality sank in as I came face to face with the reasons that I had signed up for this trip in the first place. No, it’s wasn’t my time. My heart wasn’t ready.
And since I turned down this fully funded trip and had to face the disappointment of my pastor who was so gleefully celebrating with me before, I knew that I needed to take a hard look in the mirror and learn what was really going on in my heart.
“Why does it sometimes take more courage at home?” – Annie F. Downs
Why was I so eager to go and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ (even for selfish purposes) to a people that I would never see again, when I sit quietly in an office forty hours a week with people whose salvation is questionable?
Why have I wasted Saturdays and full evenings in front of Netflix when I could be serving my community at our local Soup Kitchen or through other outreach events, but was ready to hop on a plane and travel miles and miles to a foreign land and people?
And I think it all comes down to fear of rejection. These people in my office, I have to face five days a week. What if they reject my sharing of the good news? What if they begin to look down upon me, or worse yet, complain to the higher ups? What if I lose my job and end up where I was months ago, facing unemployment?
So how do I overcome this fear of rejection? Trust. Trusting that the weak parts of me will strengthened by a power not of this world. Trusting that the One who overcame the world and death will send His Spirit to walk beside me.
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10