"Here I am, send me." This is the response that's recorded for us in Isaiah 6:8 in answer to the question, "Whom shall I send?" Over the years, I've primarily heard this passage taught from the perspective of outreach and missions. Who is going to leave the comforts of home and go share the Gospel with those in the remotest regions of the world? While that context is certainly applicable to this passage, I recently started thinking about it more in the context of everyday attitude or mindset.
First, it's important for us to understand that the response of "Here I am, send me." is always the correct response. Regardless of whether we're talking about relocating to the other side of the planet for the cause of Jesus or allowing God to use you to spiritually encourage a co-worker, "Here I am, send me." is always correct.
Secondly, what if we could train ourselves to respond in this way, "Here I am Lord, send me." to the seemingly mundane everyday things of life? Things like parenting, being a spouse, being a neighbor, an employee.
Let's think about parenting, it's exhausting right? It doesn't stop, there's no break. Your kids seem to need you just about every minute of everyday and if we're honest, sometimes we can get a little bitter, a little frustrated and a little impatient. Sometimes it feels like a futile effort, are we even making a difference? I'm keeping my kids alive but it's killing me. These are feelings that I'm sure most of us have experienced. Now let's overlay the response of "Here I am, send me." over those feelings.
God's Word clearly maps out the responsibility of parents in passages like, Proverbs 22:4, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it." and in Titus 2:4 where it says that older women are to, "encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children..." and in Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
In order to shift our mindset we have to train ourselves to understand that parenting isn't about keeping our kids alive physically or developing them athletically or academically or socially. It's not about setting them up for career success. It's about you responding with "Here I am Lord, send me." to the Lord's question of "Whom shall I send?" We get discouraged as parents because our focus is on the wrong thing. It's not about the outcome, it's about our response and obedience to God.
The same is true for our jobs. Whether we love our job or hate it, it's the mission field God has placed us in during this stage of our lives and we are called to impact those around us. It's not about collecting a paycheck, it's about obedience to God and the immediate response of, "Here I am Lord, send me."
This idea can be applied to every area of our lives: being a spouse, being a good neighbor, a church member, a soccer mom, member of the community. Our focus needs to shift away from "have to" to "get to". We have a huge opportunity everyday to respond in obedience to the Lord. Let's shift away from viewing everything as mundane and required and start viewing life as an opportunity for obedience and an opportunity to say, "Here I am Lord, send me." Be encouraged and keep moving forward.