The Lord has placed the phrase “living on mission” in my heart and mind the last several weeks. Recently my dad had to have emergency surgery, and I went to the hospital to be and stay with him during that time. With Summer ramping up and so much to do, this really came out of nowhere for our family. It has been heavy, but the Lord is good. I like to look at our time there as a mission trip of sorts.
Before leaving for the hospital, I read Romans 6:23 which says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I responded by writing in my journal, “Father, I know I have earned death. Everything I do on my own is worthy of death. Thank you for not being about death. Thank you for the gift of eternal life in Christ, our Lord. There is only life, eternal life in you! Thank you for continually refocusing me on eternal life instead of temporary, dead things. I earn death, but you give life. Thank you!”
During our stay at the hospital I witnessed many miracles. From shifting appointments to last-minute availability for surgery scheduling, the staff from the Mobile Infirmary served my dad and our family so well. We, in turn, were able to use our time to serve. The most amazing part of it all for me was seeing how my dad responded to all that was happening to and around him.
Even in extreme pain, I witnessed as he served everyone who came to his room. As people came in and out, he was intentional in asking if they know the Lord, and he radiated His love to them. The morning of his surgery he emphasized a part of Genesis 1:1 to me, “In the beginning, God…”, stating that everything is about and for God, especially in our own lives. Then, when we were in the ICU following his surgery, he asked his surgeon, “Is there anything I can do for you?”. He also said to me, “If you find a lost person, send them to my room.” I had a front row seat as I watched my earthly father trust my heavenly Father completely, and then let His love spill over into the lives of others. This really impacted me.
Even as I write this, our family is in Memphis with First Baptist Church Opelika’s Student Ministry to serve in the community. Dad sent me a scripture encouragement this week from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
My dad’s living testimony has encouraged me even more to live on mission daily. My takeaway from the last few weeks is that no matter where we are, we are on mission. The trip may be over, but the mission continues in our everyday lives. Circumstances and/or location do not determine how we live and what we do. As Christians, we have been set apart to serve, and we have been commanded to make disciples. Whether in our own city, another city, state or even halfway across the world, the mission field is wherever we are on any given day. Will you join us in this work?