Should I Move for the Gospel?
The short answer is yes. Always.
When I graduated college last year I decided to stay in Boston. Not because I love the Celtics, not because I love the history, but because I love the people of this city and long for them to hear about this thing we call “the gospel”: that Jesus came to save us from our sins and restore our broken relationship with God.
Mark 16:15-16, “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’”
Sometimes that means moving halfway across the world and sometimes it means staying at home. For me, it’s been all around the city of Boston - I have moved nine times in the past year and I’m just rolling with it.
All that to say, it’s not easy. When I say I love Vermont I mean it. The people, the landscape, the culture, I love it. I love it so much, but I love the gospel more and that’s why I moved here. This is where the Lord has me now. For a season I was able to be in Vermont and for another season I may be somewhere else but for now I’m in Boston and I am content with that.
What about family? It’s hard to leave family. Jesus doesn’t talk about leaving your friends, your favorite restaurant, your local library, no. He talks about leaving your brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers, because it’s hard. It’s not something we want to do. I don’t get sad thinking about the maple syrup and the mountains and the beautiful streams and the forest, I get sad thinking about my family going through the ups and downs of life without me. But, I love the gospel more.
Even thinking through all I’ve experienced in the past few years, any sane person would’ve left a long time ago. Hey Rachel, guess what? You’re not welcome here. Are you getting the picture? These people don’t want to hear what you have to say. And that’s exactly why I stayed. Because the Bible tells me it’s what they need to hear and I have to trust that seeds are being planted.
Romans 1:16a, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
Now, who knows what is next? I could be here for fifty years, five years, or five months. The Lord may pick me up and move me 2,000 miles away, I don’t know. But for now I’m plugged into the local church and see my community through the lens of Isaiah 62:1, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet. Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a burning torch.”
Whatever the Lord has me do, wherever I go, the gospel has to come first. One of our values at King’s Hill is Calling over Comfort and I really believe we need to keep that at the forefront of our minds as we make decisions. Proverbs 16 says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
My dad always says to fling open all the doors and the Lord will close the ones he doesn’t want you going through. Never say no and never say never. Be open to being pushed, stretched, and broken by God. He promises to give you the strength you need to do his will and the strength you need to bring him glory. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or comfortable, but it will be good.
The hymn, Crown Him With Many Crowns, is always playing in my heart and one of the choruses says, “To thee be endless praise, for thou for us hast died, be thou O Lord through endless days adored and magnified.” Let that be our song, wherever the Lord leads.