When I set out for the mission field I had a set plan for what was going to happen. I knew where I was going to go, who I was going to work with, and what I was going to do. I knew that it was all going to go smoothly and exactly according to my plan, and I was excited about doing God’s work—as long as it fit with my plan.
I had been planning to leave in February, but in October my administrator came to me and said that it would be better if I waited until May. I didn’t necessarily want to wait, but like a good little submissive global worker, I said OK, sure, no problem. A few more months went by, and I got a letter from the leader on our field requesting a phone conversation. “Uh-oh,” was my first thought, “more changes.” I was right. Because of safety concerns and other issues my leadership requested that I now change locations from where I was planning to go, to go to another city. Again, being the good little global worker, I said OK, sure, no problem. Except that the problem was that it is so easy to say the right things without meaning a word of them! I was so upset and disappointed that things weren’t going as planned. OK, maybe they were going according to God’s plans, but not according to mine, and isn’t that so often why we get upset? Our plans are frustrated. Our plans don’t work out. I often forget that I’m not here to do my will, but the will of the Father.
One day during my quiet time using Beth Moore’s study on the Tabernacle, God gave me a very direct message concerning my discontentment. I was looking at the story of Korah in Numbers 16. Korah and his sons were set aside for service in the Tabernacle, but in this story, we see that that was not good enough for him. He went to Moses and basically said, “Moses, who do you think you are, making yourself so all-important among our people? We are all holy, and God is in our midst, so get down off your high horse.” That is my paraphrase, of course, but that was the basic idea. We see that this greatly troubled Moses for, as the Bible states later on, the earth never knew a more humble man. The problem was not Moses but Korah. Korah had in his mind how he should serve, and what he had been chosen to do wasn’t good enough. He wanted what Moses had, yet that wasn’t what God had for him. Moses then went to Korah and replied with the verse that just about knocked me over when I read it for the relevance it had in my life: “Is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them?” My eyes just kept going back to the phrase, “Is it not enough for you?”
Then I thought about Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Paul could be content with humble means, with hunger and various other trials, but me? I got upset because I couldn’t have my own way and serve where and how I saw fit!
In the quietness of my heart, I heard God ask me, “Becky, is what I have planned for your life not good enough for you? Must you be so picky? Do you really think you can plan your life better than I?”
I closed the book, bowed my head and said, “OK, Lord, I get the message.”
Apparently, the future generations of Korah’s family also got the message, as his sons were the ones to write the verse in Psalms which says, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” God transformed their thinking as He did mine that day in Quebec. I realized that where I serve, what I am doing, and with whom I serve is not important. What is important is who I am serving. The God of all creation, the King of the Ages—He is the one who has set me apart, brought me near to Himself, and called me to minister to His people. Wow, what a privilege! And you know, it is enough.