At the start of our conference last Tuesday, one of the organizers asked me if I got the email asking me to preach at a session that day which will include more than 30 Salvadorean pastors. He said that these pastors do not have any knowledge of Bible translation ministries nor of the Scripture needs of language groups all over the world.
With eyes as wide as saucers, I told him that I did not receive the email. He told me that it does not matter… He wanted me to preach anyway, and that I needed to preach in Spanish! Now, as a preacher, I know I must be ready to preach off-the-cuff anytime, anywhere. But to preach a sermon in Spanish with a four-hour lead time is simply impossible. As I agreed to do this assignment, I quoted queen Esther, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).
Depending fully on the Holy Spirit to enable me to communicate clearly and that both the pastors and conference participants would understand me, I went ahead and preached bravely. To make the long story short, glory to God, everyone said that I spoke clearly and communicated the Bible translation vision very effectively.
Later that day, my friend and colleague Linda asked why I accepted the preaching assignment in spite of such short notice. I gave here two reasons. First, Bible translation advocacy is my primary job and opportunities like this are clearly God-given. Second, I said I usually accept impossible assignments like this. In response, Linda said “That’s right. If you bow out, you lose out.”
Wise words, no? God-sized assignments are opportunities to grow in our faith and join God in fulfilling his mission. Jesus said, “My Father is always working, and so am I” (John 5:17). Let us pray that we are able to understand and see where God is working around us so that, no matter how humanly impossible it is, we can join him. When we do so, God’s power is demonstrated and he gets all the glory.
Are you hesitating on accepting a God-sized assignment? Well, what are you waiting for? You don’t want to lose out, do you?