On your mark
What’s your mission?
“It is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my
messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’ — ‘a voice of one
calling in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for
him.” ’ ” (Mark 1:2,3, NIV).
The late Philip Crouch, past president of Central Bible
College, in his early years of ministry served with his wife, Hazel, at the
Lillian Trasher Orphanage in Assiout, Egypt, during the very last years of Mama
Lillian Trasher had broken her engagement with Tom Jordan in
North Carolina 10 days before the wedding as an act of obedience to the
missionary call upon her life. Eight months later, she welcomed the first baby
into her orphanage. Over the next 51 years, about 10,000 children were raised
in her home; and since her death, probably another 10,000 children have called
her orphanage their home.
Knowing that she had never married, I asked Philip Crouch if
he had ever talked with Lillian about whether she regretted breaking her
engagement to Tom.
He said, “Matter of fact, I did. About a year before she
died, I was talking with her one day and put the question to her, ‘Do you ever
regret not marrying Tom?’ She became very quiet, and finally said, ‘If I had
married Tom, what would have happened to all these children?’ ”
We sometimes blithely think if we don’t do what the Lord
wants us to do, there will be someone else to take our place. There was no one
standing in line to take Lillian Trasher’s place — if she had not done
what God wanted her to do, it would not have been done! And, there’s no one
waiting in line to take your place either!
What is your mission in life?
John the Baptist stepped into the role cut out for him by
the prophetic work of Isaiah. There was no one who could have taken his place
You may not have had a biblical prophet foretell your
purpose on earth, but as God’s child you just as surely have a mission. You can
say with David, “You have laid your hand upon me” (Psalm 139:5).
“It is written” is not only a phrase describing John; it is
meant to objectively anchor you when you are driven by the subjective impulses
of life. God’s written Word and the guidance of His Spirit will lead you always
to effective service.
When we follow the Lord’s will in our own lives, like John,
we will prepare the way for others.
And, sometimes we may not initially like where the Lord puts
us. John’s posting was the desert — water was scarce, varieties of food
limited, and air-conditioning nonexistent. But, it is in our difficult places
we truly prepare the way of the Lord for others.
John was called to prepare the way of the Lord by making
straight His paths. The imagery is of a road worker called to fill in the
potholes, level the bumps and take out the winding curves in order to make a
good highway for the King to travel on. All the work on the road makes no sense
if the King is not coming.
Similarly, you are working on some section of the Lord’s
highway in your life today. You have purpose and mission because the Lord is
traveling on the segment of the road where you are.
GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies
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