A fellow missionary was visiting recently, and I asked him what it is about missionary culture and thinking that makes it okay to tell people to run headlong toward the mission field without knowing basic things like what your job description is or where you and your family are going to live. That led us into a discussion where this friend described how he has come to view life on the mission field. His thinking went something like this:
I get up in the morning, have my breakfast, then have coffee and read my devotions while I listen to the birds. Then I go through the day, getting done what I can. At the end of the day, I do not dwell on what I did not get done, but on what the Lord was able to do despite the changes and challenges of the day.. Because sometimes you have no control over what you can or cannot get done.
That is not a direct quote, but a summary of the conversation.
The interesting thing, I reflected later, was the lesson this friend taught me, not only with his words, but with his presence in my home. I had been about to work on a project when he came to collect something from me. Then I invited him in for a chat. Then we started chatting. Soon, it was time for him to go home and me to go to bed. I had not touched my project, but I had learned an important lesson with respect to our future life on the field, and we had enhanced our relationship by that visiting time. I had failed to accomplish any work on my project, which would only have benefitted me; I had succeeded in enriched this friendship.
Thank God for friends whom He sends to us at such unexpected times to teach us such invaluable lessons! May God enrich each one of us with godly friends to be an encouragement and support, to comfort and to rejoice with us!