I admit it: I tend to get jealous over other people’s lives. Not things like cars or houses or material things, more like experiences. They went on a great vacation, look at that fancy restaurant they went to, she did the bike ride from NYC to Montauk, how come I can’t do the Half Ironman upstate like he did (that is a goal of mine!) But, yes, jealousy rears its ugly head more times than I’d like to admit.
Last year I just felt so on fire for God and wanted to do something with it. Here I was just going to work everyday feeling like I was wasting my time and energy. I have a couple friends that are missionaries. One is full time: like she went to school for it. She spends months at a time in 3rd world countries. A couple other friends had traveled to southeast Asia for missions trips and another was leaving for Africa. Why were they getting to do these big opportunities and I was stuck in my car 3 hours a day driving back and forth to this job? It just didn’t seem fair (yes, I realize that I sound like a whiny 3 year not getting her way)
One day I can remember walking into the hospital, and I was chatting with God like I always do. Asking Him for something to do. Lord, send me somewhere! I want to be used by You! As clear as day, over the Hillsong United playing in my ear buds I heard:
“I need you to be a missionary here.”
Whoa. Did that just happen?
I need you to be a missionary here.
I began to think about what that meant. What does that look like? I don’t feel like a missionary. I’m certainly not doing cool missionary things like taking care of the poor in Calcutta, or build a church in India, or talking about Jesus to the people in the Congo. How do I be a missionary in NY and on Long Island.
God continued to work in my heart.
I am the only Christian in my family. Am I doing my part to tell them about Jesus?
Work can be so stressful. Do my coworkers know the love of God?
My patients who are sick and their family members who are nervous. Have they encountered the peace of the Lord?
Do the children in my church understand that they are loved by the Father who will never leave them?
The person who cut me off in traffic, the one who pushes past you on train, the woman who bumps into you rushing down sidewalk. Do they know the One who forgives all sins? Are they consumed with His joy?
My outlook changed big time. Maybe in His plan I am not supposed to be used in a far away country. (Although, I do end up going on a little missions trip, I’ll talk about that soon!) He needs me to work as His hands and feet right in the middle of this mission field of NYC and Long Island. How am I using my time and resources to further His kingdom right where I am?
Are you a do-er and have a little time to give? Volunteer!
“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor 12:17
The list is endless in ways to help. Help on Sundays at church. I personally work a lot of weekends so my days off are midweek. I found a local organization that does a food outreach that needs people for just a couple hours to set up and hand out food. No long term commitment, just show up if you are available. What better way to be the hands and feet of Jesus than serving the needy in your community!
I know. This is New York. We work 80+ hours a week, have long commutes, and still have to make it to hot yoga class. Sometimes, giving time just doesn’t seem possible. Maybe you are blessed in your finances.
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;” Proverbs 3:9
Part of honoring God with your money is tithing. You can also bless a local organization that is doing great things in your community. Pick one that moves you and help them spread The Word.
There are a lot of us who work multiple jobs and are still struggling to make ends meet. You can help move His Kingdom too! Best thing you can do for anyone is pray for them!
“pray without ceasing.” 1 Thes 5:17
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” Phil 4:6
If you feel like you don’t have any extra anything to give right now, start a prayer journal. Pray for those who don’t know Jesus. Pray for organizations around you to flourish and spread The Word. I specifically felt called to pray for the people in my church. We have a large congregation and I just felt very moved to pray for every one of them to know God in a deeper way.
In what ways are you a missionary?
Are you seeing and showing God’s love right where you are?