God, please send someone else. This is what Moses said to God in Exodus 4:13 when he was asked to lead the people out of Egypt into another land. When I was first approached about Nicaragua back in January 2016 my reaction was similar, and I quickly came up with more excuses in my mind than I knew I could think of at the time. I’d been to Uganda a few times, and that’s where my heart was, I reasoned. But God has a way of being patient with us, and I was asked again in June to join a trip in July. There was less time to think about it, less time to find a way out, so I relented and joined the team going in July.
My purpose on this particular trip was to capture the photography and video needed to explain the ministry partnership in Nicaragua to our congregation, and to show a little of what it would be like to leave the comfort zone of home and actually “go” to Nicaragua. This was not a “light-switch” moment in my mind; it was just the first step of saying “ok, I’ll go” even though my mind and body were telling me otherwise. My reluctance to go didn’t abate until I woke up on the first full day in Nicaragua. Then God reminded me once again about the diversity and beauty of His hand, which reaches to every nation and race on the planet.
I could list reason after reason why everyone who can physically go, should go. In reality though, God may not reveal to you the why until after you say, “ok, I’ll go.” We live in a hyper-instantaneous world today. There is virtually nothing we have to wait for anymore. But God’s time is not our time, and investing in something or someone takes time, sometimes a long time, and the “why” isn’t always crystal-clear up front. Someone has to plant the seeds, and someone else has to water them. But ultimately God makes them grow. In Nicaragua, they have been planting a lot of seeds. In fact, it took more than 10 years of people planting seeds before the time was right for me to show up in July and attempt to tell the story. So when the myriad of “why” questions come to your mind about what difference can I make, how can God use me, remember that even Moses asked the same questions.
Our church is currently in a teaching series called “Ordinary People,” which takes a look at a host of ordinary people God used throughout scripture to do amazing work; work God had prepared for them before the foundation of the world. And God is still doing that today. Our culture would have us endlessly comparing ourselves to others, which only serves to deflate and diminish our effectiveness. God isn’t comparing us to each other, He is comparing us to Himself. We were each made in His own image, to do the unique work God has prepared for us in advance to do. He consistently chooses those ordinary people who take that first step and say, “ok, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ll go.”