Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Unfamiliar

I received a newsletter from a missionary in an undisclosed location. Most of the letter was coded with initials and disguising words. The reason behind the secrecy is because the email newsletter could be intercepted and read by by government agencies. If any words referring to spiritual matters were found out our friends and their mission field would be in jeopardy. At the close of today's letter there was a prayer request for safety as our friends headed to an unfamiliar place full of unfamiliar faces. My first thought was how scary that trip would be. Then the Lord reminded me that daily I head into somewhat unfamiliar places with unfamiliar faces as well. So do you. We may walk into a new doctor's office, a new grocery store, car repair shop, etc. and encounter people we've never met. Without so much as giving our trip a thought we venture into the unfamiliar. If we were in a foreign country on a mission trip we'd view any encounter as a divine appointment set by God to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Yet on our own soil, new places with new faces can be deemed as time wasted interruptions slowing down our own purposes. How easily we are distracted by the mundane and lose sight of God's every day purposes for us. We lose sight of the spiritual condition of those we encounter. We even forget to ask our Creator and daily Guide for appointments to share the Good News. The unfamiliar faces where we make our starts and stops along the way are as needy as those on the other side of the globe. My heart breaks that I lose sight of the lost that are within inches of my face and hands. I look past them and to where I am headed next, not where they are headed for eternity. God forgive me, forgive us all. Isaiah 30:21 says, "Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." May these words challenge and encourage us in our unfamiliar.