By Joe Gomez
“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid…”
There seem to be verses in the Bible that just jump out and hit you in the face with conviction every time you read them. For me, Matthew 9:37 (“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”) is one of those verses, and I am sure that it is one of those verses for some of you as well.
Whenever I read that, I almost immediately drop to my knees begging God for a “field” to harvest. With my hands folded, knees bent, and face down right beside the shovel I have laid out for when God sends me to dig wells in Africa, I pray to be a part of God’s work around the world.
I found myself praying that prayer again around this time last year. I was about to go out on a summer team to Honduras with CTI music ministries (www.ctimusic.org). Two of my friends from church were going with me, and in less than a week we would be making the 2,000 mile drive from California to Willmar, Minnesota for training and all of that jazz.
Now there’s something you should know: Jason, Jon, (the two friends mentioned above) and I have a very bad habit — or hobby. We love playing with airsoft guns. For those of you who don’t know what those are, they are bb guns that shoot plastic bb’s. Now, being the adventurous guys that we are, we love the feeling of shooting down cans and various things that we can stack up in Jason’s backyard. But when the cans and fruit have had their share, we turn to shooting at each other.
One week before we were going to drive out to Minnesota, we found ourselves in Jason’s backyard shooting at each other. Jason was on the left side of his house, Jon on the right. As soon as someone yelled, “Go!” I shot until I hit Jon in the arm. In this blur of confusion, Jason ran out into the middle of the backyard hiding behind a trashcan. I turned to fire at him and shot three or four times. Within those three or four pulls of the trigger, Jason fell to the ground. I immediately got up and danced, the kind of victory dance you do in that sick game, but when I noticed Jason not getting up, I grew exceedingly concerned and ran over to him.
“Jason, you ok?”
“I AM SHOT IN THE EYE!”
We brought him inside and gave him an ice pack, but his eye just kept getting worse until he couldn’t see out of it. After about 45 minutes or so of waiting to see if it would wear off, we decided to take him to the ER. The next few hours were spent in waiting rooms, exam rooms, and being yelled at by a very angry doctor that we would get so seriously hurt playing such a stupid game.
Quick side note: the only cool part about that time in the ER was when they ran this test to see into his eye. They dropped some sort of weird solution into his eye and turned on a black light to see it light up. The chemical glowed with a creepy yellow as the doctor looked into his retina. It started to leak out of his eye and seriously looked like one of those old Gatorade commercials! Awesome.
Anyways, back to the story. Before, during, and after the ER the three of us were in constant prayer over the situation. I was praying for God’s healing and asking for a miracle in as many different ways as I could, but when Jason would pray, he had a strange calm contentment and prayed that God’s will would reign over any of our desires. I didn’t understand this at all, but I figured he was still feeling the effects from his recent trauma and wasn’t quite thinking straight.
Jason ended up making an amazing recovery and was able to come with us on the trip. It was incredible to see God moving in such a visible way. (You could even see it with one good eye, ha!)
One day after his recovery, after our drive, after our summer, I asked Jason about that strange calmness and contentment that he exuded during what I would have deemed as a nice time to panic. I asked how it was that with just one working eye and a summer on the line that he wasn’t praying for a miraculous healing with us. He turned and answered me with something that I had spoken to our church about that very morning.
After talking through it for a while, I came to realize it was all in that verse from Matthew, the harvest was plentiful. Jason knew that the harvest wasn’t limited to Singapore. It was wherever God has placed him.
When I bow down and beg for a field and the tools, (I am not in any way saying that we should neglect to pray for guidance and the ability to do the work we are called to) I was missing the field that I was always in all along.
Another one of those convicting verses is known as The Great Commission:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In the original Greek, the first two words of that verse (Therefore go) are what is known as a present progressive verb which literally translates to “As you are going”
As you are going, make disciples. As you are going, baptize. As you are going, teach. As you are going, the Lord will be with you always. As we are going, we are surrounded by a missions field that is ready for the harvest. Whether at work, school, with family, or even in our own churches, we are in the missions field.
As we approach this summer, many of us will be going out to serve in some way on a missions trip. But for those of you who aren’t, or for those of you who might not be because your genius friend shot you in the eye, do not be discouraged. You are constantly in a field where the harvest in plentiful, and often the ones close to home are right where the workers are fewest.
Every morning, as the sun rises, it seems that God is welcoming us to a field that he has planned for us to harvest long before we were born. A field that we have been in for so long but might not even have realized it.
Welcome to the mission field.
If you like this article, check out: The Great Bike Adventure: To the Grand Canyon and Back
Joe is a 20 year old California Native. A
ddicted to music (specifically Death cab for cutie), burritos, Coldstone ice cream, and most importantly God’s healing grace. He has just finished a year of travelling with CTI Music Ministries and will be moving to Nashville in June. He also refuses to play anything but Taylor Guitars. He blogs at Sounds of the Redeemed.