Continue with Jesus’ two parables, lonesome and lack of other’s support are already difficult to keep on pursuing. I believe the long waiting also like a terrible virus that infects into an already weakening body. Imagine the farmer what will he think when everyone around him is mocking at him or ignoring him? He must want to have some results to prove to others that he is right. But when the seeds are growing downward instead of upward, what makes him so sure? To be confident? Say the woman who is mixing the yeast with the flour, what makes her keep on working when she sees the remaining flour is still plenty, and the harder she, the heavier the powder will be?
I have no doubt missionaries have strong calls to serve God at overseas. They give up their friends, home and many others for entering into foreign countries. But when years by years, they do not see the target results, they will be lost their original passions. Some will keep on busy but not in the gospel anymore, they busy in living, busy in routine, busy in their little comfort zone. Even worse, some do not like living in local but also do not want to go home, for they have become foreigners in hometown. Besides, the unwillingness to tell others of their little achievement also becomes one of the reasons that the missionaries choose to stay.
What makes the farmer and the woman to go on? Reasons may be many, but I believe it must be the faith and the desperation to see the arrival of the Kingdom. Only by the close relationship with Jesus, humility before God and the total submission, otherwise one cannot go through the tough road himself. Missionaries cannot satisfy only himself, or a handful of people be saved. He needs to love God and people much so that he is willing to surrender and give his all to God entirely. Indeed, we all need to do in the same way. But God says many are called, but few are chosen.
Living outside can be lonely but also be free. While mission headquarters and home churches cannot give regular guidance and monitor, it would also be a temptation to be slothfulness and routine. I recall what William Garey (Baptist Missionary to India 1761-1834) had said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” “I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
Indeed, let’s all not to be afraid to ask God for big things but always ask God to deliver us from self-contentment. Amen.