There are countdowns on my computer. I have four of them on my dashboard. And I actually made them before I left for Peru. The first one was a countdown until I left for Peru, but now it counts how long I have been here. At this exact moment, I have been in Peru for 3 months, 25 days, 14 hours, 23 minutes and 20 seconds.
The other three, I made for my mom one night. I think I made them the night before I left for Peru, and she came in my room and told me that she didn’t want me to leave because she would miss me. So I told her she wouldn’t miss me. And then I made a countdown until she would arrive in Peru to see me. Then I made a countdown until my vacation. And finally, I made one until I come home after my two years in Peru.
And I’m not sure if they actually help her much, because when I would say, “Guess what, Mom! It’s only 27 months until I come home from Peru!” I’m pretty sure that didn’t comfort her much.
But now it is only a week until she gets here to spend almost a month with me for our biggest project, Love Extreme. She’ll get to see how I live now, what I eat and where I walk around everyday, and she’ll get to see where I will be planting three churches in Cusco. So I am really excited to see her, plus she is bringing me warm clothes and chocolate!
But these countdowns remind me that time keeps passing. Things are changing at home. Like, my mom can’t find my sweaters because she cleared out my closet to use it for herself. Or my brother’s hedgehog died. Or my dad jus had a birthday. Things keep changing. For me as well. My jeans are looser, my hair is longer, I speak Spanish better. Time is ticking by on my countdowns.
And the same is true with missions. There are billions of people in the world today who don’t know of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And the countdowns of their lives are ticking by. And we’ve all heard people say that the time of Jesus’ return is quickly approaching. Now I believe that Jesus will not return until every people group has received the gospel (Matthew 24:14). So for the most part, I don’t worry because there are still 6,000 unreached people groups (www.joshuaproject.net). But I do believe that countdown is going as well. And I just pray that God would give me a holy anguish (Romans 9:1) for the people who are separated from Him. That it would actually cause me pain to know that there are people who do not know of His saving grace. That I would have a broken heart to realize that the countdowns of many people’s lives are ticking, and if they hit zero, they will be separated from God forever.
Father God, we know that time is in your hands. We don’t want to worry about tomorrow, because you take care of the sparrows, so how much more will you care for us. But Lord God, the other side of time is that it is running out. So Lord God, give us a holy anguish for reaching the lost with your good news of the kingdom. Help it to pain us to know that people are being lost. And let that drive us to do everything in our power to share your grace with those who are being lost. Amen.