In church last Sunday I sang a song entitled "Nothing More Than Him." Or I should say that I made an attempt to sing it. I stumbled through the first verse of the song singing about giving each daily problem over to Christ and how He alone is sufficient but when I came to the chorus I began to cry and could not finish. Sometimes words and music have that effect on me - together they are so beautiful and right that my emotions take over. And in this particular instance, in this stage of my life where I am learning that Christ truly is all I need, the words were poring out of my heart with commitment, yes, but also with conviction.
You see, the last few years have been different for me. When Dave and I were married I knew of his interest in being a missionary (to Cuba!), but I guess I never thought it would really happen. Life was just too busy - there was his degree to finish, there were children that were being born, we had good jobs, a nice house - why change anything? I admit that I wrongfully rejoiced in these distractions, these things that kept us from pursuing missions.
But God was at work in our hearts and I will never forget the day Dave came home from work crying - no, sobbing - as he told me he couldn't stop thinking about Cuba. I moved to hug him and offer comfort while my heart pounded with fear. I changed the subject as quickly as I could. Simple, right? Change the subject each time the topic came up and the "problem" would go away.
Several weeks later, while Dave was at work, I packed my then 3 kids in our mini van and drove to McDonald's. We sat in the parking lot with the car still running, the heat on full blast, and the kids still strapped in their car seats eating greasy cheeseburgers and fries while I cried my heart out to God. What did He want from me? I wanted to be willing to go and do whatever He wished. I wanted to obey, but I was afraid.
Dave and I began to pray about being missionaries and I settled into that new phase of praying and considering. It's funny how we get settled and comfortable in life - until something new comes along.
We soon realized that Cuba was not God's will for us and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. We would be staying home. But even then I was not content for I knew - we knew - that God had something more for us. Something was missing. A trip to Portugal opened our eyes to a very needy country and we started a new phase of praying for and about Portugal. My fears resurfaced and I slept very little for about 2 weeks. I remember praying to God while lying on my bed and sobbing. I was very much like Moses giving excuse after excuse. "I'm not very good with people", "Please send someone else!" and ultimately "I don't want to go." My own honesty, the very thoughts of my heart, shocked me. I didn't want to go? I knew what I was really saying - I was telling God no.
I eventually told Dave these thoughts and his response to me that day still brings tears to my eyes. He told me he wouldn't make me go. I guess I was expecting him to reprimand me for my sinful heart or to command me to go with him or something but instead what I found from him was grace and love. He loved me. This broke my heart. It again brought me before my Savior with a humble heart knowing that He loved me even more and that He wanted His best for me. I determined that day to do it - to be a missionary to Portugal if God would have it - and I began to pray for joy.
We are currently preparing for deputation and there are days I am excited and ready to go and other days when I am fearful and sad. But I have found so much joy in this: God has changed my heart. The fact that any of us desire to please God is a reflection of Him and His power to change us. For on our own we would not desire such a thing and my life is living proof of that. I've seen my heart go from resisting missionary work to being desirous of it. All because of Him.
"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory..." Psalm 115:1
Nothing more than Him. I need nothing more than Him for this life, for raising my precious children, for moving to a foreign country and telling others about His love. You need nothing more than Him. He alone is sufficient.
Psalm 91:2 "I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust."