What “Send Me” Really Means {The Grove: Sent}

An ordinary peasant was invited into the throne room of an all-powerful king. This poor guy was absolutely overwhelmed with awe of the king’s riches and splendor, knowing he clearly didn’t belong. He hid his shabby self, daring not open his mouth for fear the king might overhear his uncouth, rough language.

And yet the king had this air of compassion mixed with justice that compelled the man to stay. He heard the king mention a job opening as a messenger. The peasant saw his opportunity to join this magnificent king’s court, serving him in an incredibly significant role. So, when the king pondered, “I wonder who will go and speak for me,” the peasant piped up, “I’ll go. Send me!”

The king smiled, “Alright then, here’s the job description. Go to this group of rebels and tell them things they don’t want to hear.”

The newly commissioned messenger gulped, “Um, how long will this job last?”

The answer: basically until everything is a total disaster.

You can read this story for yourself in Isaiah 6. For most of us who serve cross culturally, this chapter links to an indelible imprint on our hearts.

When YOU said, “Here am I. Send me” you probably had no idea what you were really signing up for. Isaiah could have told us…

  1. You’re going to come undone. You just are. You can’t hang out with an irresistibly holy God and not just come apart at the seams.
  1. You will incur a significant loss you didn’t anticipate or desire. A stripping away of a ministry, a job, a relationship, a dream, or a season. For Isaiah, it was the death of Uzziah. Get yourself into God’s throne room. You are going to hear a fresh beat of His heart and you won’t be able to say anything but “Here am I. Send me.”
  1. You are going to see who you really are. Yes, you’re ruined and unclean. But your guilt has been taken away. Your sin atoned for. You are deeply, fully, and completely loved. You are the beloved child, the pearl of great price, the treasure Jesus gave everything up to rescue. And you are chosen.
  1. Your call will cause some to question your sanity or misunderstand your motives. You’re going to WHAT? Move your kids to an undeveloped country? Throw away your chances of marriage? Squander your education? Give up on all your potential?   You are in good company. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and “a great crowd of witnesses” are all shaking their heads in empathy, “Yep, me too.”
  1. You get to partner with God – and His ways can be a bit unorthodox.   Let’s be honest. Isaiah’s marching orders weren’t all that inspiring. “Harden their hearts with truth and don’t stop until the whole country is a wasteland” is rarely on the Urbana booth banners. What God is asking you to do is not easy, but here’s the sweet part of the deal. After Isaiah says yes to God, we read again and again, “The Lord spoke to Isaiah…”  Want God to confide in you? Share His heart with you?   Yeah, me too. So
  1. Embrace all God has for you. No pre-nup agreement.   No limit on the cost. Wholehearted, with abandon, embrace the good, the hard, the wonder of being invited into knowing God’s heart. You’ll long for mercy and justice and sometimes wish you weren’t experiencing what Paul called the privilege and the fellowship of suffering with Christ. But you’ve seen Him. You can’t escape that moment when you heard Him ask you “Who will go for us?” And so you walk boldly with His love and grace into the slums, the villages, the financial centers, the red light districts, the campuses, the clinics, the cities, the orphanages, the place He has chosen for you to bring hope and truth.

God will be with you. He will tell His secrets to you. He will reveal His heart to you. And you will come undone all over again.

We’d love to hear what “being sent” has meant to you.

*****

This is what we call The Grove.  It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt.  So join us in the comments.  Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt.  Click here for details and instructions.

30 Comments

  1. Erin March 26, 2015

    This brought tears to my eyes this morning, it is describing me to the core.  I did become undone, I have found out who I truly am, I have suffered a significant loss.  I have experience pain that I never believed I could.  Pain that has made my heart heavy, so heavy at times that I explode into lamenting over it.  Sometimes the sorrow has been, what I feel, unbearable.  BUT my word for this year is “BELIEVE”. The Father has been teaching me so much through all of this, but most of all WHO HE IS to me.  How loving and faithful HE is and HIS mercy and grace ARE new every morning.  I can’t believe I can say this, but I am thankful for what He has allowed in my life so far here.  He knew it was all coming and He knew that, with His mighty strength that I could endure it.  The best part: I get to praise Him for making me “newer” for Him and causing me to fall more in love with Him.

    1. Patty Stallings March 26, 2015

      Erin, what a beautiful story of Him meeting you in the middle of loss and sorrow.  And a beautiful reminder that the hard things are never wasted when we let Him capture more of our hearts.  We may come undone, but as He faithfully puts us back together we end up looking more like Him and loving Him more.  I have the feeling your story will breathe hope and encouragement to someone who is in the middle of coming undone in this moment.

  2. ErinMP March 26, 2015

    This really spoke to my heart and experience right now, thank you so much! God bless.

    1. Patty Stallings March 26, 2015

      Erin, what an incredible photo.  I want to go there!  So glad you stopped by Velvet Ashes today.

  3. Keri Christensen March 26, 2015

    Patti,

    You get a bonus check today for all of the tears you have called forth from around the world.  Over the last seven months, the meaning of “being sent” has meant many different things.  It initially meant heart wrenching goodbyes that I thought I might not survive.  It has meant unique illnesses to me and my family (as well as inexpensive over-the-counter antibiotics).  It has meant embracing and falling in love with a culture that is very different from my own culture.  It has meant more time with the father.  Being sent means embracing the fact that everything we do takes a lot more time.

    More recently, I have realized that being sent means role deprivation.  It is not that I do not have enough work to do, I stay plenty busy teaching English at the University for 6 hours a week and 20+ hours of home schooling of an eighth grader. Being sent meant leaving a job of 10 years where I was known and accomplished.  My role deprivation meant that I am no longer known and my accomplishments are meaningless.  What matters now is that I am able to get food from the market and prepare it for my family.  I am surviving.  The Father is with me and I know I can do nothing without him.  I need him here in ways that i never would have needed him under the blue sky of Colorado.  Ultimately, what being sent has meant to me is that I have to rely on being known by the father and his accomplishments are what matter.  I praise him for this humbling experience because without it I would continue to function in my own strength.  I praise him for depriving me of my role and sending me to the other side of the world.

    1. Patty Stallings March 27, 2015

      Hey Keri.  Leaving a satisfying job is certainly one of those signficant losses.  And then add what that job provided in terms of being known and accomplished – well, that’s a whole ‘nother layer of sacrifice.  I wonder how our Father feels about your shift from functioning in your own strength to a life of dependency and reliance on Him.  My guess is He is so proud of your willingness and your courage!

      P.S.  I am so glad you were sent to my side of the world! 

  4. Kelly March 27, 2015

    We were surprised to find out we were expecting baby #4 when baby #3 was just 11 months old. And in this unexpected season I found a new ministry discipling pregnant mamas in a nearby slum area. These women are strong and beautiful, and I never would have met them… might never have been sent to them… if we hadn’t gotten pregnant again. Partnering with God is never dull! Thanks for your post today!

    1. Patty Stallings March 27, 2015

      Kelly, I love that a new ministry was literally birthed in the unexpected season God led you into. You are so right that partnering with God is never dull!  Bless you and your family as you serve!

    2. ErinMP March 27, 2015

      I love your line”partnering with God is never dull”. *like!*

  5. Grace March 27, 2015

    What a great post and reminder, Patty! I’m cuing this up for our weekend links at the blog I edit. I especially love the image of the great cloud of witnesses shaking their heads in sympathy, “Yup, me too.” Thank you for sharing.

    1. Patty Stallings March 27, 2015

      Thank you, Grace!  May you be refreshed and encouraged as you consider that great cloud of witnesses cheering you on today!

      1. ErinMP March 27, 2015

        Thank you too for reminding us of the great cloud of witnesses. What an encouragement to know they have gone before us and are cheering us on in the Lord.

  6. Laurie March 27, 2015

    When I began my first long-term overseas journey over twenty years ago, I often meditated on the words from Isaiah 6. I think it’s an understatement to say I was undone by that early experience. I didn’t seem to mind, I suppose, because I continued on overseas journeys both in and out of the country since those early days. Thanks for the lessons from Isaiah 6.

    1. Patty Stallings March 27, 2015

      Hey Laurie, thanks for sharing here. There is something about coming undone that frees us to serve wholeheartedly and respond to challenges a whole lot more like Jesus, huh? Thank you for your years of willingness to be sent! 

    2. ErinMP March 27, 2015

      What countries have you served in, out of curiosity?

      1. Laurie March 27, 2015

        Mexico, Honduras, Russia were the countries I spent time in for more than short-term trips. I also made several journeys to El Salvador to encourage overseas worker friends there. And. . .one mind-blowing two week trip to Zambia that still makes me wonder if I am up for another adventure soon.

  7. Grace L March 27, 2015

    I love being reminded of the call and feeling sent by God. I had been praying for 6 years: “Here am I, Lord. Send me!” But it wasn’t my time until 1997 when the call was so strong that I knew it was the time to move forward. As I look back over these years, some of which were in the states and some here in Asia, what stands out to me is that the call progressed as I said “yes”. And the call was confirmed along the way as I continued to go through the doors that He opened up. It has been the most amazing journey and I rejoice that He called me (and later my husband) to serve full time overseas. Yes, there have been sacrifices and difficulties, but the joy of being in the center of His will far outweighs them. That plus the blessing of having so many people praying for us. This is such a privilege to be here. We have met so many wonderful people, both on this side of the ocean and back home, and we have seen God’s work at transforming lives.

  8. Patty Stallings March 27, 2015

    Grace, your years of experiencing His call and walking through open doors are a source of encouragement! There’s nothing quite like getting a front row seat to watch God transform a life, huh? Bless you, dear one!

  9. Jennifer March 27, 2015

    Thank you Patti. This is both a very timely and timeless post. Speaking straight to me this week.  Over the challenging journey of the last couple of years for me, one thing which has kept standing out to me, is the sense that the sending which God does is most definitely not a static one time thing, but a challenging, changing, dynamic reality which continues for every moment that you choose to follow it. It is not a sending necessarily to safety and peace and calm and comfort, but will likely at its heart challenge us as you have said to the very depth of who we are in God, of who he wants us to be, for our best, and for what he is sending us to do. I have many moments when I would deeply have loved a little less challenge and a little less need to deeply consider what God is challenging me in, confronting me on a personal level about. Many moments when I would have loved a little more support, or someone to speak to. And yet at the same time I can very deeply see that some of the times which I would on one level most have liked never to have experienced are also the times which God has worked most deeply within me, and most deeply moved me in new directions and into things I otherwise would not have considered or thought I could do, and encouraged me to simply look at things in a different way.  Your conclusion does sum it up so very well “God will be with you. He will tell His secrets to you. He will reveal His heart to you. And you will come undone all over again.”

    1. Patty Stallings March 27, 2015

      Jennifer, I so appreciate your insights into the dynamic, relational aspect of being sent.  He doesn’t just “send” us but goes with us – leading, guiding, shaping, sheperding us through the process.  Your comment perfectly illustrates that.  Thank you!

  10. Kim Atkinson March 28, 2015

    Yes!! I had no idea it would be like this…the undoing caught me off guard but I am starting to see glimpses of hope Thanks for putting it into words!!

    1. Patty Stallings March 29, 2015

      Me too, Kim!  I think a signficant piece of “the undoing” is the unexpected aspect of coming undone. I have grown certain of this: God doesn’t waste anything and He is always faithful to put us back together, more whole, more transformed, more like Him.  May fresh hope overwhelm you this week, Kim!

  11. Kristi March 28, 2015

    ” the wonder of being invited into knowing God’s heart”  Yes!

     

    Send Me

    Here am I

    in the middle of the

    marvelous

    meaningful

    mess of life

    Here am I

    in a moment of

    pause

    pleasure

    and peace

     

    Here am I

    Send me

     

    Send me into

    triumph or

    trial

    hope or

    hazard

    Don’t leave me where

    I

    am

     

    Here am I

    Send me

    wherever

    whenever

     

    Here am I

    Send me

     

    I will go

    as long as

    Your Presence

    goes

    before

    me

    My pillar of

    cloud

    and of

    fire

     

    Here am I

    Send me

    1. Patty Stallings March 29, 2015

      Kristi, your artful words seem to always catch the essence of a complex concept.  I’m so grateful you share your gift with us at Velvet Ashes! 

  12. Tia March 29, 2015

    I read this as I soak in my bath (my way of comforting myself each day) after weeping in my living room as almost all my earthly possessions loom and crowd me. I was weeping with dear friends as I prepare to sell my families belongings and leave my home. I know my heart is betraying me as my mind spits truth to my soul bc only 4yrs ago we were called to a ministry in our hard community And I grieved the life we were leaving behind saying “why me Lord?” Not knowing the riches and fullness of life that awaited me. This time it’s magnified leaving this crazy beautiful and I’m left saying “why do I have to go?, are you sure this life isn’t the best fit for us?” But I can’t deny the trustworthiness of my God. Blindly I still follow.

    I needed this reminder as I count the cost once again. Thank you for the words of truth

    1. Lauren Pinkston March 29, 2015

      Tia,

      Knowing the very places, people, and things you continue to give up makes my heart ache for you. I was there this time last year, and also asked God, “Why, me?” I asked him the same question last night as I watched my family who had been visiting board a plane back to the U.S. without me. I didn’t want it to be me. I didn’t want to have to feel the pain or the stripping anymore. I love how you said, “Blindly I still follow.” As we got back into the car at the airport last night, Gavin just started to pray, “God, please just DO SOMETHING here. Even if it is in our hearts. Even if it is small. Please, just do something here.” And I was so thankful for that clarity, because it is so easy to get caught up in everything we’ve left behind.

      Feeling all the feels with you. May He guide your steps and give you peace during yet another transition with your husband and precious three.

      1. Patty Stallings March 29, 2015

        Bless Gavin for the refocusing prayer!

    2. Patty Stallings March 29, 2015

      Tia, may the “Man of Sorrows, well-acquainted with grief” be your companion on this part of your journey. He knows. He knows.  And He knows how this leaving is impacting you.  This is a promise for you…

      Isaiah 42:16 “I will lead the blind along an unfamililar way; I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. I will turn the darkness in front of them into light and make the rough places level.  This is what I will do for them; I will not abandon them.”

      Blessings to you, your family, and your dear friends.

  13. Cecily April 1, 2015

    How do you know my heart so well, Patty?  I want to be on your team 🙂

    Your words echoed in my heart.  Thank you!

    1. Patty Stallings April 2, 2015

      Ahhh, thanks, Cecily.  I feel special.  🙂

      May you be overwhelmed with His goodness and kindness to you!

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