How to do the “Hard” in Your Mission Field

There are few ministries or pursuits more noble than the mission field. Any parent is proud to say of his adult child, “My son or daughter is a missionary in _____.”

The mission field is one of those places where the harder the conditions, the scarcer the resources, the more seemingly noble the mission. We admire those who are willing to endure hard things for the cause of Christ, especially where discipling men and women for the Kingdom is concerned.

But every home is a mission field, and every parent is a missionary. They may be really awful ones, neglectful ones, even, but the mission field is there, and it is ripe. It is where disciples are made, the Word is preached and lived, and souls are added to the Kingdom.

There is a universal acknowledgement that motherhood is “hard.” I would agree. But “hard” is relative. I might call my day hard because there is laundry and cooking and maintaining a house but at the same time talking and listening and teaching and maintaining a home. Where people live. And there might be tears. Or strife. Or a teenager (let’s all stop and have a moment of silence). I might step on Legos. Every. day. And the septic tank might back up into the house. Twice. That might be “hard.”

But that “hard” isn’t anything like the hard day Katie Davis has when she finds herself nursing wounds and squeezing in, among her own thirteen children, in a house in Uganda, another family, whose mother is sick and dying. And there are other children who want to be fed, and more sick to be nursed, and there is more brokenness than there are healers and I’ve read her story…she is tired, and life is very hard sometimes.

Can’t I do even what feels hard to me, right now, where I am, with joy and abandon because Christ calls me? Because wasn’t the cross hard? Wasn’t His life riddled with pain and criticism and needy people?

We need a fresh perspective sometimes.

I’m tired of a Christian culture that gauges “God’s will” by some measure of easy or hard. Who gives a few dollars and some lip service to the missionary in Uganda but tells a woman she shouldn’t accept another disciple God might give her because used cars and thrift store clothing would be “too hard.” We don’t treat children as those who “are of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

I am challenged to really grasp that God has called all of us, no matter where we are, to the mission field. Besides the ones in our home we have been called to lead and love in His grace, we have neighbors, friends and family who are hurting, who need to be loved. Do we have the time? Do we have the passion? Can we walk as Jesus walked, healing, binding and loving whomever was in front of Him?

That is to set our minds on heavenly things right among the earthly things.

As a mother, do you take your job as a missionary seriously? Do I?

7 Responses to “How to do the “Hard” in Your Mission Field”

  1. Shelly says:

    Whenever I’m feeling like I’m not doing enough for the Lord, I remind myself that my mission field is right at home. And you’re so right. I often think, “How can I compare with medical missionaries in Jamaica, or people who venture into war-torn regions to spread the gospel?” This is the season I am in NOW, and this is what God has called me to NOW, and knowing that should be enough.

  2. Melissa says:

    I think the mistake we sometimes make is the having the misconception that this life, a life on purpose for God, should be easy. It is supposed to be difficult. If Christ suffered, to be like Him, we will suffer as well.

    Thanks for this post. It’s encouraging to know that there are other moms out there in the trenches who keep going, even when it is “hard.”

  3. D. says:

    The challenge is that “for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross….”

    Many times my mission field of being a mom and wife is not necessarily summed up in the word joy. In North America (and then having lived as a missionary kid overseas) I often find myself annoyed with the level of comfort we have and I start to wonder how I can be used in such a place of luxury. But there are unsaved people all around (even our own kids) who need to hear about the love of God. It’s actually more difficult to be faithful in the mundane then when we are being praised as heroes or constantly in the spotlight.

    I chuckle at what must seem a contradiction to the world when Jesus clearly states that as His followers we will have trials and we know that everyone who wants to live godly lives will suffer……yet, He also talks about His perfect peace that guides us and that we can live without anxiety and cast it all on Him.

  4. Hannah Hobbs says:

    I love your heart, Mrs. Kelly! You are one of the most inspirational missionaries I know <3

  5. Diana says:

    “I’m tired of a Christian culture that gauges “God’s will” by some measure of easy or hard. Who gives a few dollars and some lip service to the missionary in Uganda but tells a woman she shouldn’t accept another disciple God might give her because used cars and thrift store clothing would be “too hard.” We don’t treat children as those who “are of the Kingdom of Heaven.””

    Amen to this, and to your whole lovely post!!

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