To Go or To Stay

For several months now I’ve been feeling God calling me to the mission field. It began with a Bible reading: Jeremiah chapter one verses four to eight. It continued with a missionary’s newsletter, which included this verse : “And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)


This call has only been growing stronger since then. I’ve been reading through the book of Acts, and read, spread through chapter 22, these words:
‘Get up and go, why do you delay? Get up, Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ (vv. 10, 16, 21) I wanted to go so much that I cried because of this ache I couldn’t dull. I didn’t know how, or where. But I knew that I had to go. Soon.

Then came yesterday.

I sat outside on a piece of roofing iron, crying again. (That happens when you’re growing up 🙂 ) I was wondering suddenly, whether to go or to stay.


My heart was changing… and I wasn’t sure why. This is what I wrote later that evening:  “I was wondering whether to go or to stay. Was ‘go’ a test, to see if, after being called to the mission field, I would be content to stay at home? Crying, I imagined. I imagined a wise man sitting down beside me. He spoke to me, some words of reassurance that God loved me now and forever. Then he turned and pointed to the moon. He said

“See the moon? See the white part, the part where the sun yet illuminates? That is your life, the part you have lived. You can see all of it. Now see the rest of the moon, the dark side? It’s not completely black, but dark brown. And if you look closely, you can see its outline. That is the rest of your life, the part yet to come. The white part shows the simple shape of the rest, but not the particulars. It is this way with your life. The part you have lived, you can see clearly, with all its humps and hollows, ins and outs, ups and downs. The rest, you will see as it comes.”

I had been totally convinced that the way I would be spending a good-sized portion of my life was on the mission field. And when that tugging left, it left me pondering. “Am I called to go, or to stay?” But I learned that knowing my calling isn’t the important thing.

All I need to know about the rest of my life is this:

  1. That I will sin
  2. That God has forgiven all my sins
  3. That I must live in thankfulness to Him for His mercies (Psalm 136)

So I still don’t know whether I am called to go or to stay, but It Doesn’t Matter. Not now. What matters is that I remember to be humble in all circumstances before Almighty God.

And Serve Him with Joy!

Go or Stay

Note: When I posted this, it was more than two weeks after the ‘evening’ and ‘yesterday’ spoken of here.


20 thoughts on “To Go or To Stay

  1. I can identify! I’ve always wanted to be a missionary, and lately I’ve really been hearing the call to GO. I want to go so badly, but I still have to wait until I’m old enough. Like I wrote last night in my journal, “I guess this is a test of patience.”

    I also liked the illustration of the moon–I’ve never thought of it before, but that is so true! Thanks for sharing this! 🙂


  2. That was beautiful, Rhoda! I think that I will remember that analogy from now on. 🙂 One quote I read from Elisabeth Elliot that I has been an encouragement to me is that God gives us light for the step we are on. Being faithful right where we are even in the seemingly “little things” is what God looks for and praises in His servants.


  3. It is wonderful when we learn to hear His voice- and His encouragement – and, you are so right – you hear Him calling you to a purpose – but you seem to understand that between hearing the call and the setting out – God prepares for the journey and the job. I think to understand the grace in the wait – you get read, get set – and when He says, “Go” – then you are strong enough and prepared enough for the job! Wishing you blessing in the wait and the eventual go!


  4. Hi Rhoda,

    I’m also going through a period right now where I’m waiting on the Lord, trusting Him to guide me, in His will for my life. There have been changes that left me a little confused and I was wondering something along the lines of “what’s next” or “what is my calling”? Yet at the same time I seem to understand what His will probably is, and that I should continue what I am doing and be involved in the ministry that I already have, and cultivate it even more….


  5. Oh friend! I think we would be quick friends in person as my heart aches for the mission field too! I love how you keep things in perspective and the wisdom you have found in knowing that it is not just about whether we “go” or what we do…but that our heart is in surrender and ultimately ready to do His will…whatever it is! Praying for more revelations to you in days ahead. ~ Jen


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