Where is Romania?

As I write this, I am less than 72 hours away from boarding a plane bound for Bucharest, Romania. However, I’ve never been to Romania. I’ve never even been to Europe. And I will lead a team of ten other individuals in this country I’ve never been. Over the last month, the excitement has grown in my heart as I have waited with expectation to go. But I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t nervous. This week, I will say good-bye to my husband and two boys for 9 days. I will travel halfway around the world to a land I have never been and a country whose language I do not speak. At the moment, I have no idea who our team will meet or all that we will encounter. The questions that flood my mind, as I try to prepare, continue to build. And my flesh is weak.

My flesh is SO weak.

Over the last two weeks, the Lord, in His goodness and grace, has been speaking to my heart and reminding me of His faithfulness and purpose in my life.

I was reading the story of the rich, young ruler {the same one that Jim Burchel preached the other week} one evening while my kids lay sleeping in their beds and my husband was at work. The house was quiet and peaceful. And as I sat at my kitchen table and read this passage of scripture, my heart was encouraged by the perspective the Lord gave me. The rich, young ruler wanted to know “what good thing must he do to get eternal life.” And Jesus tells him to follow His commands. But Jesus didn’t leave it with that. Jesus took it one step further. For Jesus, it’s not about obeying a list of commandments which this rich, young ruler was about. And it was especially not about obeying a list of commandments out of duty or obligation. Jesus is after our hearts. It’s all about giving our lives to follow Him and we obey His commandments out of a love for Jesus and what He’s done for us on the cross.

So, Jesus tells him to sell his possessions. Sell ALL his possessions.

It’s a ‘drop the mic’ moment.

Sell ALL your possessions and follow Him. Follow Jesus.

The rich, young ruler was sad. He had no problem going through the checklist.

  • Don’t murder. -Yep!
  • Do not commit adultery. -Got it!
  • Do not steal. -Okay.
  • Do not give false testimony. -Check.
  • Honor your father and mother. -Sure.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself.

BUT, sell your possessions. Give to the poor. Now, that is difficult. And he left sad. His heart was wrapped up in the things of this world. His grip was not on the eternal. He was holding on to what was temporal.

We can be good people, but not live fully surrendered to the Lord. It’s not enough for us to run through a checklist. He wants ALL our heart, fully devoted to Him. We can’t give Him all of ourselves if we are holding on so tightly to the things of this world.

So, I sat at my kitchen table reading this passage and being reminded to keep my eyes fixated on Jesus and what really matters. To draw close to Jesus and live with eternity in mind. These words were hard because my spirit is willing, but my flesh is SO weak.

Jesus, I’m nervous to get on a plane. I’m nervous to fly halfway around the world to a land I’ve never been and a country whose language I don’t speak. Jesus, I’m so nervous to be away from my husband and my boys.  SO. MUCH. CAN. HAPPEN.  Jesus, I am out of my comfort zone. There is so much about this situation that I can’t control. Help me, Jesus. 

And so, today, Pastor Aaron began a new sermon, Scandalous Grace, out of the book of Jonah in the Bible. And once again, Jesus came alongside me and encouraged my heart and spirit. Through Jonah’s story, I’m reminded that when God speaks, He usually asks us to do hard things. It’s easy to follow Him when it’s convenient for us. But sometimes, it looks like leaving your husband and boys for 9 days, to travel to a land you’ve never been, to share the Gospel with a people whose language you do not speak. It doesn’t *always* look this way, but right now, this is what it looks like for me. This morning, the Spirit gently reminded me that this world needs wide-awake Christians to point them to God in the chaos and storms of life– just like those sailors needed on that boat in the middle of the storm with Jonah sleeping.

So, I will board that plane. I will go. I will trust the Lord. I will walk in obedience to His word. Even though it is hard. Even though my flesh is weak. Even though it means being away from loved ones and being out of my comfort zone.

Jesus asks each of us to follow Him. Even when it’s hard. Even when it doesn’t make sense.

What is Jesus asking of you today?

And by the way, Romania is located in Eastern Europe.