We're in Luke 10!
Instead of skimming over some of my aha! moments to focus on one main point from Luke 10, I'm going to split the chapter up into three different posts.
So, Part 1:
As an overseas missionary, this was how I translated that verse: Stay where you are until your work is finished; I will tell you when your work is finished. Do not feel guilty about the blessings I give you; I know what you need and I am taking care of you. Do not feel guilty about the blessings I give you; you are my child and I love you. Do not feel guilty about the blessings I give you; they are mine to give.
You can't see it in the photo, but underneath that watercolored embellishment I wrote this in the margin of my Bible:
Suffering doesn't make one holy. We all experience pain and suffering in our lives, but suffering in the moment of service isn't a requirement of servitude. Accept blessings for what they are: blessings.
Suffering isn't a requirement of servitude.
Our blessings as missionaries -- having clothes that fit properly and that keep us warm in the cold seasons; having shelter, a place we call home; having enough money to buy school supplies for our 1st grader, and being able to treat ourselves to a latté at Starbucks every once in a while; having enough time for me to pursue my online ministry; the list goes on -- our blessings are from God.
I know (because I've been told) that being a missionary in Vienna seems very glamorous, that we seem to be very well taken care of, and that we don't seem to be "suffering" like "real missionaries" do. Well, yes, Vienna is beautiful, but our lives are far from glamorous. Yes, God has met our needs, but He's done it primarily through donations and financial supporters, and accepting other people's money still occasionally comes with misplaced shame. And no, we are not suffering in terms of our basic needs -- we live in a first world country with clean water, modern plumbing, etc. -- but that doesn't mean that we are not suffering in ways that cannot be seen.
If you are a servant of God -- which (surprise!) you are, if you are a Christian -- that doesn't mean you have to suffer. You don't need to feel guilty about enjoying your life. You don't need to feel guilty about enjoying the blessings that come with servitude. Denying yourself doesn't necessarily mean that you have to live in a hut somewhere or in a ditch on the side of a busy street (but if that's what He's calling you to do, DO IT!). Denying yourself means surrendering your life to Christ, and putting The Kingdom first -- without fear of what the future holds for you.
Don't feel guilty about enjoying the blessings that come with serving God.
YOUR TURN: I know the subject of suffering can be a touchy one, and I do not in any way mean to minimize anyone's suffering, I'm merely sharing here that I don't believe that we are required to suffer in order to serve God. What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments! ↴