Last week I was discouraged. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with me. Being fun and entergetic is something I genuinely enjoy being, but sometimes the story of the heart is different than the one we present to others. When we first got here I was full of such enthusiasm. I was tired yes, but the feeling of being in a new country along with the knowledge that we were here to present the Gospel and serve the Islamic refugees filled my heart with such excitement that I could barely contain myself. And it has been everything I expected, and yet it hasn’t and as last week began, I couldn’t help but feel discouraged.
You see, I am haunted by this feeling: That I’m not doing enough. That I can do little in the time we’ve been given. That when we get home, I will still just be me. That in my desperation to have life changing experiences, I will miss the ones right in front of me. That I am only chasing after the next spiritual high. That I will never be satisfied. That my time here is little more than a glorified vacation. That when it comes down to it, I care much more about what I can get out of this trip than I care about how Christ is working in the lives of those we are serving. That I will be unable to overcome my own inadequacies to make a difference to much of anyone. That I am far too self concerned to make a difference for Christ. And, maybe worst of all, that dispite being aware of all my imperfections and doubts, that I will be unable to truly change. That I will live through the rest of my life always being aware of how much room I have for improvement, but be helpless to do anything. That in the end, I will never be a true follower of Jesus.
“I came to America, to convert the Indians; but oh! Who shall convert me? Who, what is he that will deliver me from this evil heart of mischief?”- John Wesley
I came to Greece to serve the Muslim refugees. And I have done that. I’ve helped prepare and serve meals. I’ve talked with a few of the refugees. I’ve spent some time trying to learn a little bit of their language, Persian(Farsi). I even spent last Wednesday at the beach with one of the refugees. But how can these little things share Christ? These little things are nice, but what am I doing really? What difference am I really making? In many ways, I was ashamed I felt that way at all.
But that was last week. And last week God was teaching me much about what it means to serve Him and not myself. I wasn’t listening at first, but God is patient and I think I am starting to understand. My time here in Greece is short, but that doesn’t mean Christ will not use the time we spend here in vain. I may never proclaim with my own words the Gospel. But I can share the love of Christ by showing these refugees that they have meaning and worth. They who have been forced out of their own homes and who have been told that no one wants them, I can listen to them and their stories. I can serve them food. I can play a game of chess with them or spend a day at the beach with them. I can pray for them. And while I may not be the one who leads them to Christ, seeds may be planted. Seeds that may be watered by others at Helping Hands. Seeds that may one day may grow into a life with Christ and filled with Him. My mind was so focused on how I thought I needed to serve Christ that I was misses the opportunities sitting right in front of me. By the grace of God, I think I can see them a little more clearly now.
As we go into this week I am excited for what God will do. I know not what opportunities God will present me in the remainder of our time here. I only hope and pray that I will be attentive to His calling and His will. That I will not be too quick to overlooking even the smallest opportunity to share the love of Christ in word or in deed.
1 Corinthians 3:4-9