I have a confession to make: I’m a loser. Not the kind of loser who through poor choices or bad luck never seems to make a success of things. No, I’m the kind of loser who, well…loses things. Lots of things. Repeatedly. Over and over. Jackets, keys, books, important papers. You name it; I’ve lost it. My theory is that there is some sort of invisible vortex into an alternate dimension that follows me everywhere I go, snatching up items whenever I set them down and spitting them out Heaven knows where a few hours or weeks later. At times, this can be inconvenient.
On the other hand, it has been great for my prayer life:
“Oh God, Great Heavenly Father, Beloved Master of the Universe, please, please, PLEASE let me find my keys!”
“Oh God, Lord of All Creation including black holes and alternate dimensions, please, please, PLEASE let me find my refund check!”
“Oh God, Patient and Kind Father who never grows sick or weary of hearing from me, please, please, Please, show me where I left the foot cream.”
It is possible God got a little sick of my panicked pleadings. I say this because he eventually provided me with a secret weapon against the vortex: my husband, David.
If I am a loser, David is a finder. He has this amazing ability to take in all the visual details in the world around him and draw important conclusions from them. “There is a tiny green corner of paper sticking out from beneath that pile of newspapers. Could that be your refund check?” It’s a miracle really. When he opens the refrigerator door and looks at the chaos of tinfoil-clad leftovers, wilting produce and crowded condiments, he can always find the mayonnaise. I love this man.
Not only is David skilled at finding things, but he is persistent. When he looks for something he will not give up until he finds it. If I have lost something, he will drop whatever he is doing, and comb through every corner of the house until he finds it for me. Now, here’s the thing. David does not enjoy searching for things. He has such a good visual memory that he almost never loses something himself. And yet, he is constantly giving up his free time to help me find stuff. Why? Because he loves me.
And here’s where Missions comes in. You were wondering when I was going to get to that, weren’t you? Have you ever seen the artist’s rendition of Jesus where he has a sheep thrown across his back and he is all happy and smiling and stuff? Why do you think he’s so happy? Have you ever seen a real sheep? They are not the cleanest creatures and they are dumb as posts. They are also quite heavy. If I had a sheep strapped across my back, I would not be smiling.
The picture comes from a story Jesus told in Luke 15:4 – 15:7 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me. I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Jesus is smiling in the picture because he is happy. Something was lost, and Jesus found it. Jesus is the finder! Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” The Bible tells us that Jesus first came for the lost sheep of Israel. But when he rose from the dead he opened up that vision to include the whole world. He told his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19.
Here’s another confession. That verse doesn’t move me. It doesn’t give me chills. I know it is “The Great Commission” and all, but it feels a thousand miles away from me. For forty years I have been trying to drum up feelings when I hear that verse, and it is just not happening. All I feel is a vague sense of guilt because, basically, I am one of those ninety-nine sheep who feels safe and warm and is perfectly content to stand around eating grass and making fun of that funny bleating noise the other sheep are making. I have zero desire to “Go and make disciples.”
Nevertheless, I am 100% committed to missions. Why? Three reasons:
First, It’s not about how I feel; It’s about how God feels. As a member of the body of Christ, I am God’s finder. I am the hands and feet of Jesus. I don’t need to feel an intense desire to save the lost. Just as my husband will get up and look for something because he loves me. I will get off my bottom and help Jesus reach people for God because I love God. And God loves everyone. He will miss every person that doesn’t make it into Heaven. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Second, I remember what it feels like to be lost. I know what it is to be lost and alone, trapped in sin and shame. It is a bad place to be; and if I can have a part in saving people from it, I’m in.
Third, God is a Keeper. The people God saves get to be with Him for eternity. Most of the things I do each day probably don’t have a dramatic eternal impact. It would be nice if looking at pictures of kittens on the internet somehow advanced the Kingdom of Heaven, but I don’t have a lot of confidence there. However, the things I do to support missions, do have an eternal impact. I can’t think of a better use of my time and resources.
Harvest Christian Church is 100% committed to missions. We support missionaries all over the world. In future posts, I’ll share some of the great things happening in Africa, Mexico, the Middle East and Cuba because of the missionaries we support.
September Price, Missions Committee
Visit our MISSIONS info page here!