“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.”
--- John 13:3-5
Well, 2013 is gone and the New Year is upon us. With this New Year comes a new opportunity for us to serve in the Zambezi cluster. Things will be a little different now as we leave two sons here and go back with Hannah, but in many ways things will still be the same in 2014. I will continue to serve as CSL in our cluster, we will continue to live in Zambia and we will continue to try and reach the lost and build His kingdom. Each time we return from furlough we reconsider our call and where the Lord would have us serve. It is not always easy to leave America behind, but as our departure day draws near we can’t help but get excited. Of course we will miss home and our family back here, but we look forward to our friends and ministry in Africa. Each time we return, we do so prayerfully because we want to be where He wants us to be. I can honestly say that the Lord has not yet released us from the burden of lostness in our cluster.
I think it is important, from time to time, to do some serious soul searching and consider if you are where God wants you to be. We often serve out of habit or duty, and it is healthy to revisit your calling. It is interesting to notice in the verses above that there were three things that preceded the Lord’s service to the disciples. In short, Jesus knew where He had come from, He knew where He was going, and He knew who He was. He had come from God, He was going back to God (via Calvary) and He was the Son of God. This prompted him to cast aside his splendor for a moment and kneel to do a menial task.
I know where I have come from, and the road the Lord has walked with me to this point. I remember the darkness and the despair of my lost life before I met Jesus. I can still remember that dorm room in April of ’85 where I gave my life to Christ. I can still remember, later that year at Explo ’85 in Atlanta, GA when I stood with Bill Bright and thousands of others and committed to go wherever, and do whatever He called me to do. I can see down through the corridors of the past the journey that has led me to Africa and even to this day. I know where I came from and I know who I am in Christ. I also know this burning call in my heart that tells me where I am going… back to the nations, back to the lost, back to the heart of the Zambezi cluster. Some day He may release me, but that day has not yet come.
I thank you all for praying for us as we go back to lay it all on the line one more time. Once you know where you came from, where you are going and who you are… there is nothing else to do but kneel down and start serving. I pray for you that this New Year will be a time of reflection upon where you came from, where you are headed and who you really are. I pray the Lord would give you a sense of genuine purpose for 2014 and a renewal of your calling to serve Him where He has placed you.