Have you ever wondered if God really cares where you go on a mission?
Is it some random guy sitting there throwing darts at a board with your face on it?
I always kind of felt like it didn’t matter where I served because regardless of where I went, there would be people who were in need of the gospel.
That was until a few missionaries in my zone called me up and told me to meet them at a cross street in our city. They had been pounding the pavement knocking doors when they stumbled upon a sight that forever solidified my understanding of the Lord’s hand in my calling to serve the people of Michigan.
“Meet us at the corner of ‘Elder’ and ‘Trimble’ street when you get a chance,” said my fellow missionaries.
“Are you guys trying to play a trick on me?” I asked
“No seriously… get over here!”
So my companion and I hopped in the car and headed over. The other missionaries were standing by, and when we pulled up, they were pointing up toward a street sign.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. There we were, at the corner of the streets “Elder” and “Trimble.”
Time after time I would hear returned missionaries say that they knew why they were sent to where they were sent. But for me, as a young missionary, I had no idea why I was sent where I was sent. Michigan was a cold, snowy, icy, place where people loved to hole up in their houses for 7 months out of the year and slam the door in our faces if we asked to come inside.
I didn’t feel like I was personally making any sort of a difference. But over time, as I committed myself to the work, and forgot about the warm sun and the cool waves of Southern California, I started to see my purpose in Michigan unfold.
There were people that only I could reach. Not because I was better than anyone else, but because I was sent to them. Prepared for them. My background, my life experiences, and my point of view was made specifically for these people. And I knew that. Without a doubt… I knew that.
I’m not a sign seeker, but I know that God does give signs to those who look for them. In this case, I was given a literal sign. It was in my last area… the area I served in before I went home that this sign was given. Most will say it was a coincidence, but I would be curious to know how many other intersections in this world come together to make “Elder Trimble.”
Seriously. I would love to know what those odds are… that I would be sent to a part of the world and then come across this sight just before I finished my mission.
I had gone through a lot to get on a mission. It wasn’t easy. I sacrificed a lot. And here was this sort of stamp of approval on the whole ordeal. It was God’s way of saying… “I see you son… I see you workin.”
It’s hard for me to see it any other way when I combine it with everything else I experienced.
The Lord knows exactly where he’s sending you. You may not know that now, but it will become evident in the coming days, months, and years. It’s not some random process where you get sent into the four corners of the world to fill an open space.
And people wonder why I am so utterly convinced that the gospel is true and that missionaries are called of God. 🙂