A few years back I was in Asia trying my hand at missionary work to find out if I could cut it as a missionary.
I’m still here in Australia, so what does that tell you?
Does it mean I’m not listening to God, or does it mean God isn’t listening to me?
Anyway, a lady who spoke English is showing me around the maternity ward and she points to this big sign on the wall: REMEMBER DOCTORS THAT THE FIRST THREE MINUTES OF LIFE ARE THE MOST CRITICAL.
I joked to her, “Did the people who put that sign up ever stop to think that the last three minutes of life are nothing to write home about either?”.
She laughed… well, she chuckled… same thing really; but within seconds I got all reflective, thinking about home, hospitals, death and especially my aging parents.
A time later, when I was home from my jaunt, I got a call from my oldest sister telling me dad had collapsed and been rushed to hospital.
I was more than five hours away, so I found a church, went inside, and prayed.
Just as I finished praying my brother rang and let me know I didn’t need to rush home as everything was good again with dad.
Dad’s always cracked jokes about me being a hypochondriac, so I got on the phone and I used the opportunity to throw the same accusation back.
He was a little weak, but my brother said when the doctor asked my father, “Mr Lee, have you been in hospital before?”
He replied, “Are you kidding? I was born in hospital!”
So what did I learn from the above? That dad’s jokes are funnier than mine? That’s a funny joke on it’s own! Um, sorry dad, I was only joking.
People will always notice your support or lack of support in their life’s trials, no matter how strong you think they are. Even Jesus said to his friends the day before he was crucified.
"You are the ones who have stood by me in my trials.”
Jesus was thankful for their support, even though there wasn’t much they could say or do for him.
If we aren’t there for people when they need us, we aren’t there for people. If you are, in a very real way, you are being a “missionary”.