Uncomfortable missions

It is uncomfortable in Mozambique. I had never thought about this country and myself there this way before. This conclusion was born maybe two weeks after arriving in Poland. At another breakfast together, when the hardships of the last months were just a safe memory. As safe as it was far away at that moment. And as dangerous that I wouldn’t be able to go back without analyzing and setting myself up again in relation to it.

I’ve been extremely uncomfortable in Mozambique lately. As soon as I arrived I was bitten by bugs and we couldn’t get them off the mattress and clothes for several weeks. We spent the first night in the new house, and the next one in the hotel, trying to clean the house. Two days later I had to go to the doctor, I was bitten and swollen on my neck, chest and belly. Some time later I became pregnant, which made us very happy. However, the first three months were very emotional (hormone storm, I suspect) and depressing for me. For the first time since my teenage years, I struggled with thoughts of the futility of everything I do and who I am. At the same time, numerous infections forced me to take several antibiotics in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. Tony, meanwhile, suffered from malaria three times. Our car kept breaking down. We had constant financial shortages. This, in turn, severely limited our ministry, as if physical infirmity alone were not difficult enough.

It is uncomfortable in Mozambique. I hadn’t thought about that the last morning I spent there before leaving for South Africa. I was fine. Not because I overcame all the adversities so bravely. I was glad to be leaving. That I will rest. I will breathe. I will put myself together again. I will satisfy myself with people and food. Meetings and chill. Being and cleanliness. And when I thought that Poland would be a time to satisfy my needs and do nice things for myself, which I missed so much, God turned my thinking around.

This is good, but it is not the solution – saturation with comfort. Time in Poland should be a holiday from myself. Detaching myself from my needs. From my soul. From my life. Otherwise it will be hard to come back. Otherwise, it will be difficult to continue following Jesus.

Relief. Oh my goodness, relief. The relief of being free from myself.

And then these words of François Fenelon, to which I just returned that last morning: “Come often to God to simply sit in His presence and renew yourself. Nothing is so important as humility of heart and detachment from your own opinion and will.”

It’s so unpopular. After all, today “my” opinion and “my” will are everything. They are the benchmark. The highest holiness. My law. My privilege. And yet this detachment from them is true freedom.

Somewhere in Mozambique in these last difficult months I got lost. The inconvenience made me want to live on the same level as in Poland. To have the same comfort. To have the same peace of mind that comes from favorable circumstances. To have the same life. And from these desires frustration was born. Chronic dissatisfaction.

But this is Mozambique. I didn’t realize it until later, during one of the nice and delicious breakfasts in Poland that I had been waiting for. It’s the same when I go camping. Then I don’t expect starched white sheets or a bathtub to spend my evenings. When and how did I come to expect Mozambicans to behave like Westerners? How is it possible that I started wanting fresh dairy, whole grain bread, certainty about the freshness of meat, an electrician who comes only once and knows his job, punctuality and many other, after all, small things? When did it become a nuisance that there is no family, friends, good education for children, medical care on a European level?

How did I forget that there is a price to pay for following Jesus?

It is uncomfortable in Mozambique. And that’s normal.

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭23‬-‭25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I forgot the price you pay for following Jesus. That there is the price. That sometimes it’s our life.

I remember longer times and shorter times when it all didn’t matter. When the reality of God’s Kingdom was so real that I easily reached for its resources, which are inexhaustible. But when this world becomes more real to us than the Kingdom of God, then we enter into the limited availability of its resources. Then we live by its standards. Then we also want its comfort. And when we don’t have it, frustration grows.

Detach yourself from this world, from your needs, from yourself. And follow Jesus. With a light step. And pay the price with joy. Live in the realm of the Kingdom. Let it happen to me. Let it happen to you. Let it last.

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