It is approximately 6:20 a.m. and I am sitting in the Midway Airport in Chicago. To say I am a little anxious is an understatement. I am flying to Houston to be with my mother through a very difficult time. She will be undergoing open heart surgery to replace her aortic valve. I can only imagine how frightening this must be to her as she prepares for the operation.
There is a part of me that is responding to this situation in a very selfish manner. I am absolutely dreading the thought of going back to Houston. It is very difficult to be a missionary in your own backyard. Houston is my backyard. Unfortunately, it is not the kind of place that I visit to refresh my spirit. I tend to prepare for spiritual warfare.
Several members of my extended family do not bring out the best in me. Matter of fact, the biggest fear I have is not that my mother will have complications from the surgery, but that I will have to encounter particular family members that I have long given up on maintaining a relationship. You know the type of people about which I speak. The kind of people that rage into your life like a tornado, only to leave the scene in utter chaos.
I get so caught up in the mundane stuff that I forget that I am a pastor. I allow the resentments of the past to creep back into my life and keep me in a state of a restlessness and anger. As a pastor, I am sent into the world to be a living witness to the Gospel of Christ. That includes being the light of Christ to my family. That means all of my family.
I equate my journey to Houston like Jonah’s journey to Nineveh. Part of me says, “I really don’t want to go God. Send someone else. These people are not worth saving. They are horrible.”
I know that I will surrender to what is right. What matters is that I forgive those in my family and offer the Word of God to the ones who need to hear God’s message. I will lay aside my desire to run away from a very difficult situation and stand in the Word. I know that Christ will strengthen me. It is just getting to the point where I can surrender to allow God to utilize my life.