I have worked through the question, “Is this really what God has called my family to do?” too many times to count. Every time I pray or go to the Word He continues to remind me to wait on Him and continue down the path He shows me one day at a time. But instead of looking to Him for strength every day I internalized the call. “I am called to Romania; therefore I must do everything I can to get us there.” I called it faithfulness. When the all financial partners we needed did not join our team as I thought they would I was left with one conclusion, “I failed. No, I am a failure.” I couldn’t understand what God was doing. Every day I began to be more and more discouraged and grew insecure. The question, “What will our partners think about how long this is taking?” started to haunt me.
I finally broke and couldn’t go on any longer. I was too fearful, too discouraged, too defeated, felt worthless and felt the weight of having so many people behind us on this journey. I didn’t have the joy, peace, patience and faithfulness to get through this season of waiting. I told God I would rather Him take my life than continue to live the one I was living. If this is what a life of serving Him was going to look like then I wanted nothing to do with it.
He graciously said, “Mark, you are living like you are an orphan. You are living like you have no father, no one to care for you, no one to provide for you, and no one that loves you. You act like you are a “self-made” man who has to prove himself to the world. You act like you are worthy to be my servant based on your schooling, actions and track record, and then a second later you feel guilty because you know your actions and track record show just how unworthy you are. You constantly live like you are alone on this journey. You have forgotten that you are My son and I will never leave you as an orphan alone to make decisions in this world. You have forgotten that I am pleased with you based on what Christ did.. not because of what you have done or will ever do. You have forgotten what it means to be saved by grace and to live by grace. Mark, you have forgotten the Gospel.”
The Gospel isn’t just being saved from the punishment of my sin. It is about God’s work in my life today. My feelings of worthlessness were based in the fact that I didn’t see Christ’s worth and how God looked at me through the lens of Christ’s work on the cross. My feelings of inadequacy found their source in looking to my own strength instead of Gods’.
He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
If us getting to Romania and serving there for many years was based on my strength, faith, talent or experience then we wouldn’t be there long if we ever even made it at all. God in His wisdom knew I needed to learn that before we got there. There has been a reason for this season of waiting. It is because I am weak and because He is faithful, good, patient and gracious. It is because our family will be much more useful to Him serving out of a position grace than human striving. It is because I needed to be reminded of how the Gospel is at work in my life today.