Perspective: noun \ per·spec·tive \ pər-ˈspek-tiv \
The interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed; point of view. The capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.
I have come to realize that the way I view something can drastically change the outcome—or at least my attitude about it and how I cope with it. This, in turn, can seem like it changes the outcome. Stepping my foot off the airplane almost 5 years ago, I was filled with excitement and adventure, wonder and uncertainty. But mostly, everything positive. I was ready to experience the world, share the gospel, and help as many people as possible! Fast-forward 9 months or so into it, and I realized I didn’t have many friends, I couldn’t build relationships without language (that was coming slowly), and all of a sudden that culture I was so ready to leave was looking pretty comfortable and easy again. What changed? My circumstances? Not much. My attitude about it all? Definitely.
I think I’m weaker today than I was when I first stepped off the plane in a foreign land. Perhaps, I’m just now realizing how much I don’t have it together, how unequipped I am in and of myself, and how prone to sin my heart still is. My husband has brought it out in me. My kids have certainly brought it out in me. And these people around me? Definitely. However, as the apostle Paul states: “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20). I think it’s God’s grace in my life that He has brought us here. Many days, I am uncomfortable and stretched—sometimes to the limit. Yet, I have the Spirit who intercedes for me when I don’t know what to say (Romans 8:26-27), and I have His promise that as I turn to the Lord, the veil will be taken away, and I will be transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:15-18).
Truthfully, I don’t know how many people I’ve helped or made a difference in their life. But, I do know this: I am an ambassador, an agent for my Lord Jesus Christ anywhere and everywhere I am. We all are—whether we are in Africa, Asia or America. We all have one job to do. Together, we are to bring glory to the God of this universe with our words, thoughts and actions. That certainly includes admitting that we are nothing, He is everything, and He is worthy of all devotion. I know that, no matter where we are, “it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ, He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). And I am sure of this: “that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). That’s perspective enough for me to keep plodding, plowing and praying for the harvest. To God be the glory! Great things He has done and is doing!
—RJB (East Asia)