Sunday, September 10, 2017

Narrow Way

Despite all the training and preparing and praying, there is only so much that can be learned about being a missionary until you're on the mission field, living it out day by day.  And even as you live the life of a missionary and figure things out over time, it seems that what you learn the most is how little you actually know.  But that's the life of faith: being humbled as you grow and stretch and follow God's call on your life.  And being on the mission field, it seems, multiplies the humbling and the growing and the stretching.  Something about living overseas refines you in ways that weren't possible before, reveals and showcases your weaknesses that you were able to keep hidden before, and expands your understanding of the Kingdom of God that was so limited before.

Something about living overseas increases your dependence on God at the same time it increases your awe of Him.

Back in March, as we approached our One-Year Missionaryversary, I spent a while reflecting on this life of missions.  It was by God's grace that I even had the time to reflect and process our first year as missionaries, and out of those reflections came a song.  It consumed me for a few weeks until I finished it, and I felt like it really summed up my thoughts on our first year in Kenya, and so I sang it to myself for awhile, and then life went on its way and the song fell out of my head and I didn't think about it much again.  But recently it's come back to me and I've been singing it again, and I wanted to share it here.

This version is a late-night, after-the-kids-are-in-bed-and-I'm-already-exhausted version.  At the very end you can hear our front door opening as Eli returned at 9pm on a Saturday after being at the hospital most of the day, and initially I was annoyed and thought of re-recording the whole thing just to erase the sound of that door opening at the end.  But then I realized that it's a perfect glimpse into the life of medical missions.  The bedtime stories without Daddy and the all-hours-of-the-night calls are echoed in that door opening at the end of the song.  On days like that, this song sometimes comes back into my mind and I'm reminded of the magnitude of this call on our lives, of the intense refining process happening in us, and of the truly narrow path we walk day by day.

I'm thankful for this journey even in its most exhausting and depressing and hopeless moments.  I'm thankful for God's faithfulness, for His love for the nations, for His call to servitude and taking up our cross, and for His promise to never leave us as He calls us to hard tasks.  I'm thankful for the privilege of being God's missionaries to the ends of the earth.

Narrow Way
© 2017 Krista Horn

Some say to take the road less traveled,
the path that’s not well-worn.
As I’ve journeyed down that road,
my heart’s grown as it’s been torn.
Torn for hopes not realized,
and yet grown through anguished cries.
As I’ve walked this narrow way,
He’s sustained me day by day.

Some say the harvest still is plenty,
and the workers still are few.
As I’ve seen this truth before me,
I’ve felt a harvest in me too.
Room to grow in love and peace,
pride and judgements – oh, to cease!
As I’ve walked this narrow way,
He’s refined me day by day.

Some say how great is the reward
for all those who pay the cost.
But some days the price is steep,
and His promises seem lost.
Is it true that there’s still worth
serving the ends of the earth?
As I’ve walked this narrow way,
He’s grieved with me day by day.

Some say that going against the current
requires being both strong and brave.
Yet as I’ve swam through this deep ocean
I’ve been floundering in the waves.
Floundering but sustained along
by a God who shames the strong.
As I’ve walked this narrow way,
He’s upheld me day by day.

Some say success is simply measured
by results that can be seen.
But what gauge can know the merit
of obedience to the King?
For a faithful heart is more
than the triumphs we long for.
As I’ve walked this narrow way,
He’s smiled on me day by day.

Some say to take the road less traveled,
the path that’s not well-worn.
As I fix my eyes on Jesus,
I still walk though I am torn.