I heard the unwelcomed “ding” overhead as the pilot flipped on the signal warning passengers to buckle their seatbelts. We would be landing very soon. Within 30 minutes I would be in Dallas. Within four hours I would be at home. I put my tray in the upright position and began feeling sick in my spirit. An old familiar friend called Discontentment reared his ugly head.
Discontentment told me many things as we prepared for the landing…
“You’ll never be happy here. It’s not where you belong.”
“You give, give, give, and what do you get? Nothing.”
“What are you waiting for? No one needs you here. Find a new mission field.”
“You could never do anything helpful here. It’s not where you belong. It’s not your home.”
I silenced his cruel rant with a labored swallow and a brief prayer. I smiled at my short-term mission trip companions as we braced for the airplane landing. I adopted their expressions of relief, in an attempt to relate to their joy of being “home.”
I don’t share in all of this to receive praise or pity, but to express the reality of what happens in a heart that views the “mission field” wrongly. How does one heal this wrong perspective? What can we do when we hate or grow weary of our mission field?
Maybe your mission field is raising a child alone, teaching a class of twenty five -year-olds, cleaning jelly up off the floor, or running a large team at your company. Whatever our mission field is, we all have the tendency to grow weary of it and, if we’re not careful, we can grow to resent it.
To fight my resentful tendency, I have been preaching to myself since I stepped off that plane. Here is what I have to remind myself of and what I pray may be helpful in your fight against the ugly monster of Discontentment:
I am not the “sender”.
The definition of “missionary” is simply “a person sent on a mission.” In real life, we do not choose our mission. We are sent by Someone. That Someone is gracious, knows everything, sees the big picture, created your heart’s desires, and has planned your purpose. He is a far greater sender than we could ever be… even for ourselves.
I am a mission.
Often times, when we’re immersed in a task, job, or list, we get the arrogant notion that we are other people’s saviors. We begin thinking about all the ways people would miss us if we left and how they should appreciate us more. Discontentment is a bitterly close companion when it comes to self-righteousness. We must remind ourselves that not only are we on a mission… but we more than likely are a mission in progress ourselves.
The mission field we are in refines us. It draws us closer to the Almighty and further from ourselves.
He is worthy of the ‘everyday’.
Whether I’m sick and tired of the same mission field, weary of the burden of my mission, or just feel inadequate for my mission… God wants the everyday obedience. Answering phones in an office, picking LEGOS up off the floor in a daycare, or doing paper work for hours is obedience in the everyday, when it’s done in a manner that reflects Christ. Saying ‘yes’ to your mission field is an every morning calling, not a ‘one-and-done’ deal. Obedience is a daily, if not moment by moment, mission.
These three things often times keep me sane in the mundane. Cling to what you know to be true (Titus 3:8), Who you know to be faithful (Lam. 3:22-24), and what you know to be your mission (Micah 6:8).
Have you been weary or discontent in your mission field? I encourage you to comment below with words of encouragement for other women that might be in the same kind of mission field and/or feeling the same kind of weariness. Let’s encourage one another and represent Him well!
Meet the Author!
Hannah Hanzel is an opinionated, passionate gal that loves sharing what God is doing in her often busy and complicated life. She strives to show God's glory in working as the Art Director for the Baptist Messenger, serving as a multi-client freelance graphic designer, and communing with CRBC. When she's not working, you can find her sipping coffee in a hammock, watching classic '40s movies, or going on an adventure with friends or family.