Obedience over Familiarity

As I write this, it is Christmas Eve. I’m sitting in my room listening to Christmas music and have just finished wrapping my last presents. This sounds quite normal, right? It is…almost.

Four years ago, I left my home and all things familiar and moved literally halfway around the world to live in a place I had never been before. I spent two years living and working in a somewhat difficult place to live for the sake of the gospel.

More recently, I have done this on a more permanent basis, for I am here to stay for the foreseeable future, Lord willing. It’s a new place and almost just as different from my previous country as it is from my home country. But this is where the Lord has sent me, and I want to be obedient. So here I am.

Many others have gone before me and have had to endure much harder circumstances than me. And, Lord willing, many others will continue to leave their homes, families, and all things familiar for the sake of Christ our Savior, the One Who left heaven—the best of everything—for our sakes.

So here’s what's not quite normal: I am in my room, but it is in the high 80s outside (mid 80s inside); this country doesn’t celebrate Christmas; my body is fighting something off that is possibly living inside me (parasite); my roommate is in the middle of getting over bronchitis; and our families are thousands of miles away.

But through all this, just yesterday we were talking about how we have received so many blessings, gifts, and supernatural protection from our Father, Who knows and loves us so incredibly more than we can imagine or deserve.

Our great Savior is worth it all, and as I listen to “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” I can’t help but be excited to share with others here about my greatest gift from God—my Savior, Lord, and Redeemer Christ Jesus. This is why I’ve come in obedience to this new place, is it not?

Believer, are you being obedient? Are you being ruled by fear instead of the love of our Father? Is He calling you to leave all things familiar to follow Him overseas? Maybe your first step of obedience is simply sharing about Jesus with a friend, family member, or acquaintance.

Try something new, but do it out of obedience, not from mere curiosity. Bear fruit that lasts through obedience to the Lord.

Shaniqua Gerber* has lived for two years in Sub-Saharan Africa and now works with North African and Middle Eastern Peoples.

*Name changed.





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