When God Says Stay

What do you do when you desperately want to go, but God says stay? This is a question that has been rolling around in my mind the past few days. After Paris I wanted to post a scathing and forceful message. I wanted to vent my frustration about media coverage and the refugee issue. However, judging from my news feed, I don’t think anything I would have to say wouldn’t just be a repeat of what pretty much everyone else is saying. So I decided to take a bit of a different focus.

I have several friends who are actually putting their words into action and being the hands and feet of Jesus in Greece with the refugees. I read updates, and see heartbreaking pictures from the front-lines. They talk of the need for more volunteers. They need more people to come and help, to hug the babies, cook the food, listen to the stories, and show the love of Jesus. I hear them and I see them and my eyes fill with tears.

Oh, I want to go…but I can’t. I’m finding it hard to come to grips with this fact.

I have to be where I am right now. I’m committed to this place and people are counting on me. More than that, GOD has called me here. He’s told me that I need to be in New York right now, not Lesbos.

What do I do with that?

What do you do when your calling feels like it has you sitting on your hands and watching other people get to do God’s “important” work?

But who decides what is important? Who decides which calling does “more good”? It’s not a competition. The important thing is for us to do what God tells us to do. Lesbos, New York, wherever. Each calling is equal if that is what God is asking of you personally. Bottom line–God calls each of us to do SOMETHING. Are we doing it?

Not being able to go has challenged me. It has challenged me because it makes me realize how much more accountable I am to be faithful in living intentionally right where I am. So how can I “go” when I’m called to stay?  I can go by changing the way I live here. We can all go. We all should go.

I can share the pictures and stories of my friends in Greece and maybe it will inspire someone else who is free to go. I can love my choir kids and music students better and invest more in their lives. I could go without buying something I want in order to send money to help. Instead of giving that guy on the subway who took the last empty seat a dirty look, I could offer a smile and send up a prayer for him. I could walk down my street to the soup kitchen or volunteer in the homeless shelter.

I can choose to take the ministry God has called me to and intensify it. Instead of coming home and watching a movie, I could chose to not ignore the pain that explodes in front of me every time I look at my Facebook page or hear the news. Instead of taking that time to “relax” I could voluntarily take on heaviness of the situation and spend that time in prayer.


Maybe I could make those little sacrifices from right where I am.

My point is this. Yes, many are called to go, and many make excuses for not going. But I know many Christians who would love to go, but can’t. People who’s hearts are breaking and would love to hug those children and serve a hot meal to those families, but the ministries they are involved in require them to stay. But whether or not we leave the country, we are ALL CALLED TO DO SOMETHING! And we all CAN do something. For example, I know of a small Mid-Western school where the  students voluntarily decided to have a bake sale to raise money for the refugees. They were doing what they could with the resources they had.

We need to have open eyes. We need to be faithful, seek God’s face and listen to the Holy Spirit. We need to be open and willing to do whatever He asks of us. And now I leave you with a message that I myself need to take to heart (especially since it is rather ironic that I am indeed posting this on the internet) lets stop simply complaining about the state of the world on Facebook and the rest of the internet, and lets go out and LIVE that change  we are wanting to see–right where God calls each of us individually. This might be in New York, Indiana, Ohio, or somewhere else. Bottom line–do something.


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