Over the years, we have sat down with numerous mothers, fathers, friends, cousins and coworkers talking about international missions. Inevitably by the end of the conversation, we have ventured into the question of safety.
Is missions safe? Is living in “that” country safe? Do you feel safe overseas? Will my son or daughter be safe in your program?
The question comes in many forms but the heart of the question remains the same.
As human beings, we value safety. As Americans, we go to great lengths to create safe environments for ourselves and our children.
Are you a parent having a hard time with your kid pursuing overseas missions? Are you a college student considering leaving the comforts of America for overseas missions?
The Bible gives great wisdom and insight into our purpose as followers of Jesus Christ.
Check out what JD Greear says about our children and God’s mission:
As a parent of four children, I am grateful for every bit of parenting advice that the Bible gives. One of my favorites is Psalm 127, tucked in with the other Psalms of Ascent. Solomon writes:
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Psalm 127:4–5)
For years I missed the importance of the imagery here. But Solomon is getting at a very important principle with the idea of children as arrows: God gives us our kids so that we can prepare them for his mission.
After all, what is the purpose of an arrow? An arrow is designed to be shot! As missionary Jim Elliot wrote to his parents, “Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said that they were . . . arrows. What are arrows for but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly—all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.”
The life of an arrow is not a safe one.