Last night I heard a wonderful woman with a beautiful heart speak about her upcoming trip to the city of Manila in the Philippines. She will be serving as a house parent in an orphanage for three months in 2008. Her responsibility will be to love children that have been abandoned. She also shared her desire to love the hundreds of thousands of children roaming the streets of Manila at night without a home. She will be immersed in a place Jesus would describe as â€œthe least of theseâ€.
As she was sharing, she commented how that even as a child in Sunday School class she remembers her heart coming alive anytime the subject of â€œmissionsâ€ was discussed. She had this sense of calling at a very young age to be Jesus to the underprivileged and abandoned children of the world. This calling led her to take a few trips with her local church overseas. This trip to the Philippines will be different however. This will be the first trip taken alone. I love that kind of faith! She also has about 25% of her funds raised at this point but she is confident in her January departure.
When asked how we could pray for her, she mentioned that ever since she committed to doing this, she has had these doubts or struggles with whether or not she is good enough to go. Amazing isnâ€™t it? She has been confident her entire life that God created her to go to the margins of this world where street kids have unbelievable needs. She follows this leading and prompting in her heart to take steps towards and existence in Manila and then BAM â€“ the attack begins. The enemy of her soul unleashes the attacks of hell against her. His primary weapon â€“ fear and doubt. â€œYou arenâ€™t worthy enough to do something like this!â€ â€œThe money for this trip will never come in.â€ â€œDoesnâ€™t it stink to ask people for money?â€ The attack continues to mount.
I was reading the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 recently. This is the parable where the master goes away on a journey and leaves his property to the servants. To one servant he gave five talents, to another servant two talents, and to another servant one talent. When the master returned he found the servants with five and two talents doubled his investment. He was pleased and said to them, â€œWell done good and faithful servant.â€ But the servant with the one talent actually buried his talent in the ground and did not profit anything. The master was very displeased with this servant and said the following to him:
â€œYou wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.â€
Wow! Pretty harsh words! â€œWicked, lazy, weeping and gnashing of teeth!â€ It wasnâ€™t like the servant was beating children, smoking crack, and having a promiscuous lifestyle. Could the servant be cut some kind of slack? This parable truly emphasizes the importance of squeezing every ounce of talent, ability, and moments in our day for the Kingdom of God.
What intrigues me about this parable is the reason the lazy servant gives the master for why he buried the talent. He says this, â€œ’Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.â€™â€
Did you catch that word in there â€“ â€œafraidâ€? This servantâ€™s fear of his master gripped him in such a way that he curled up into the fetal position and did not do a thing. He ran from his responsibility and wussed out. Fear will cause you to run from your dreams, your abilities, your potential impact on the world, and your destiny.
John tells us in I John that â€œperfect love drives out fearâ€. The love of God and neighbor will remove fear from our inner being. That is what I took away from my time with this special woman. Did she have doubts? Absolutely! But her love for Jesus and His mission along with her love for children is driving out those fears and doubts. The enemy can talk his talk and play his games, but nothing can rival the mystical love of God that overtakes people and causes them to do unexplainable, irrational things. Thank you Megan for teaching me with your actions, for reminding me what truly is important, and for proving Johnâ€™s words our true â€“ â€œperfect love does indeed drive out fearâ€.
â€œMay the peace and love of God rest on Meganâ€™s soul. May her financial needs pour in. May the body of Christ come around herâ€¦supporting her with resources and prayer. May she be used to bring the Kingdom and will of God to the lives of children in Manila. May the world never be the same because she chose to live her life as a stranger in a foreign landâ€¦knowing her true citizenship lies in heaven. Amen.â€