As a young person planning to go out into the field to serve the Lord, there are many things to look forward to. There are many dreams that the Lord has planted in me, adventures that I hope to pursue with the Lord. It feels like there is something exciting to plunge into. Except that waiting did not feature on my agenda.
I know that I am not alone in this struggle of wait. Being in my mid-twenties and in the midst of completing my studies has placed me in this position to question, “What’s next?” With a burning passion to serve Him in the harvest field, I am tempted to think that perhaps I can simply pack and be sent. However, deep inside I am familiar with the tug of the Holy Spirit who whispers, “Not yet, my child.”
During one staff devotional sharing, we were reading John Sung’s reflection about “The 15 Footsteps of Jesus”. He points out the different paths that Jesus took in His ministry. I personally resonated with a few in this season of my life.
Footsteps of the Road Less Travelled
As we noted how Jesus took the path that was unconventional and foreign, it reminded me of my own journey of travelling the quiet path of being led to serve the nations. In a society such as Singapore that is prosperous, it is easy to chime in and join the common paths of success in the thriving industries. But it doesn’t seem to be the door that the Lord is calling me to walk through. Rather, it is to simply follow and do His will. However, with the known calling comes another test of waiting.
Footsteps of Patient Obedience
Jesus started His ministry in His 30s. Before this, he worked as a carpenter and went through the various temptations in the desert. He waited for the Lord’s time. With eager spirit, I want to go forth. Yet, I am also bogged down with many concerns such as gaining local work experience, equipping myself with skillsets to live abroad, settling down and many more! Sister Chiew Lian, Personnel Director of Interserve Singapore, chimed in with her thoughts that were based on her personal experience. She said that once we enter the field, inevitably there will be a lot of waiting. Things don’t happen overtime and yet there is purpose in the wait. Here are some practical tips that I have asked her to share:
Firstly, ask yourself why are you in a hurry to go out.
Secondly, gauge how equipped you are in terms of skills and knowledge required in the field.
Thirdly, consider pursuing a profession that will allow you to bless the people God is calling you to.
Fourthly, work for about five years to hone your professional and people-skills in a non-Christian context. It is a good practice ground for a wholistic ministry!
Fifthly, visit the land God is calling you to - for exposure to the culture and people - and ask yourself what kind of preparation is needed to love and serve the people.
This period of waiting isn’t idling – it is doing life, not alone but with loved ones. It could be about courtship, marriage or starting a family. These things are important in preparation for the field. To my fellow sojourners who are waiting for His time to go forth, let us be patient in this process and learn to keep pace with Him.
Embrace this season of wait.
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