Many drops make a river.
Journals of my middle-school self tell of the woman I wish to become- she is a single missionary or she is married to someone who matches The List. She loves God with all her might, and she’s doing something great for the world. I remember dreaming of raising orphans in India, or running a missionary furlough house.
Never did I ever dream of doing what I am now- living in the States, being a nurse, working 8-5 four days a week. I’m about to try my hand at graduate school. I didn’t see this coming when I was fourteen. I have a houseplant and a cat.
The Lord led me to Southeast Asia last year. I went for ten days, a survey trip. It was pretty terrible. I came back bitter about missions. But I heard clearly the voice of the Lord in my heart, “I do not need you to save these people.” And perhaps, more importantly, I saw myself as I am- I did not want to move to across the world to save people or to love God. I wanted to move to Southeast Asia because it was the Good Christian Thing to do, and because if I did, then people would think I was a Good Christian Girl. It’s funny—the Lord spares no expense in rooting out the sin in your heart. He took me 10,000 miles away just to point these things out.
So I am back in the States, and I am working in oncology and trying to minister to the sick and dying and sometimes it’s so heavy I don’t know who to talk to. And am I doing it so I can be dramatic and attention-seeking? (oh, look at me, my job is so important because I see so many people on death’s doorstep.) And I wonder what in the world I’m doing with my life. Perhaps it is because I am frequently around those who are close to eternity, perhaps it’s because I think a lot, but honestly, lately I’ve been thinking about when I get to heaven and see Jesus. I want him so badly to look at me and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” But I don’t know if he will.
Because I want to do something big. Something grand. Save people. Move across the world.
But instead I find myself getting up, going to work, coming back home, doing laundry, cleaning house, and just…living.
A class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (“Perspectives” for short) just finished here in Northwest Arkansas. Even though I was pretty burned on missions from last summer, I took the class because it’s the Right Thing To Do and because I promised I’d help lead worship. I learned, in a real and true sense, that there are people who have literally no access to the Gospel (again causing a life crisis- should I consider missions again??!), but aside from that, the last speaker said a few things that stuck out to me. One of them was a proverb from a Middle Eastern people group- “Many drops make a river.”
Many drops make a river.
You see, when I get to the end, to seeing Jesus, I want to look back on my life and see that I’ve lived a life that was about loving God. I want a river.
But a river is made of drops. And a life is made of days.
So what am I doing today, what am I doing right now? Not tomorrow, when I know whether or not God wants me overseas. Not in 20 years, when I’m married (maybe?!) with kids. Not in 50 years, when I finally have the wisdom of the aged. What am I doing today?
You see, I think the Lord is teaching me, “Love me everyday, and you will love me with your life.” This may mean going overseas. It may mean taking care of the critically ill here. It may mean selling things to give to the poor (hey, that’s biblical), or it may mean adopting a bunch of kids, or it may mean none of the above. The only thing I know is that every day I must get up and purpose in my heart to love the Lord fiercely, unceasingly, even if the outworking of that looks terribly commonplace.
Lately it looks as mundane is ever- trying my hardest to get up and spend some time with that God I love before the day takes off without me. Trying to pray consistently for those who don’t know Jesus. Trying to love on my missionary friends. Reading My Utmost for His Highest sometimes.
O God, I don’t know what you want me to do with this life, but please hear this plea-
“take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.”