Be Content Where God Has Placed You

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For he himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Several years ago, I wrote a column to encourage all of us to take a few moments to say something encouraging to those who live and work around us. Lord knows we all need it. The column also appeared on my website, www.devotions.com. I received emails from around the world thanking me for my website, and encouraging me to continue the work that God has laid out for me. In turn, it was an unexpected blessing to me.

There was one email that particularly touched my wife and me. It came from a missionary in Mongolia. “There is not much good teaching that I get to hear in English,” he wrote, “and I often fail to understand completely the things that are said in Mongolian. It is such a hard language. I can’t say that I have read your devotions every week, but when I do read them I am blessed beyond end. Please be encouraged that you are touching more people’s lives than you will probably ever know. You are certainly a fresh spring to me. ”

Can you believe it? It’s the missionary who should be receiving my thanks. Robbie and I sit in the comfort of our home office where we carry out our ministry. This missionary literally sacrifices his whole way of living for the cause of the Gospel. For example, in some Mongolian cities today, the high temperature will not get very much beyond 10 degrees, and I imagine his home will not be a warm 70 degrees tonight like the rest of us.

But our missionary reader is right where God wants him to be, and Robbie and I are where God wants us; and we believe we are doing what God has called us to do, too. I once believed God had a greater calling in store for me.

But I later realized that no matter where I was, there is no greater calling than serving God in the way he has called you to serve him. I am right where I need to be. Anywhere else would be miserable.

I had that revelation after thinking about a sermon I heard from a pastor. A friend of my wife had committed suicide. It ranked as one of the finest sermons I have ever heard. It was well organized, biblically sound, articulately delivered, and helped a grieving family answer the oft-asked question in such situations: “Can you really go to heaven if you commit suicide”? His answer was “yes” and he backed it up with a story in the Bible.

My revelation about my calling had very little to do with the substance of his sermon as much as with him. Why in the world would someone so gifted remain in a small country church? He clearly had the ability to go anywhere he chose. Then it hit me! In ministry, you can only go where God has called you to go. This pastor was right where God wanted him and he knew it.

The same is true for all of us. God can use us mightily to serve him, but only where he chooses to send us. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small country church, a mission field in Mongolia, a Sunday School class, the church nursery, or a home office in Concord, North Carolina.

If we’re where God wants us to be, he will bless us as we serve Him.

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