Surely this is all just a bad dream, Henry thought. He looked from his dad to his mom. Soon someone will laugh and say it is all a big joke. But no one did. Instead, they just looked at him with the same earnest expression.
Suddenly his little sister burst into tears. “I don’t want to go. I’m scared to move away to another country,” she cried, pulling her doll closer. Henry felt a bit that way too. He had expected to come home from school, have a snack, and go to play basketball with his friends. But now this! It was as if someone had dropped a ton of bricks on him!
“We have done a lot of praying about this. We are sure that it is God’s will for us to move. God has shown us that the world is His harvest field and He has a special place for us to work. We must be willing to go where God sends us. He has promised to be with us and help us, and we believe He will.”
Henry heard his father’s words but they seemed to come from far away. This whole thing just did not seem real. How could God do this to him? A moment ago he had felt safe and secure, but now his whole world seemed to have turned upside down. He felt torn inside between the life he knew and the one his parents wanted to venture into.
“We feel, in all fairness, Henry,” his father continued, “that you should choose for yourself. We can make arrangements for you to live here with a family from the church until you graduate, or you can come with us now. Of course, we’d like to have you with us, but that might be selfish on our part.” He paused for a moment. “Henry, would you like to talk about this now, or would you like a little time to think it over?”
Henry hesitated. His feelings were almost too jumbled to sort out. He recognized a few of them . . . a sadness that threatened to swallow him, a fear of the unknown, and yet a kind of thrill of excitement too. He did not feel sure that he should trust any of these. But how could he know what was the right thing to do?
“What about all the other things we’re doing for God? Can’t we just be happy living here, and continue serving God as we have in the past?”
“Yes, Henry. We could, if God wanted that. But He seems to have other plans for our lives now.”
“Why do I have to make a choice like this?” Henry asked, troubled.
“Sometimes the choices we have to make are difficult, even painful. But if we are going to serve God then we must expect to make some hard choices. We know this is not easy for you, but we also know that God will help you make the right decision.”
“I need some time to think about this,” Henry said. He stood up and walked to his bedroom.
Henry wished he knew the answer. He remembered stories he had heard about Christian missionaries who were martyred for Christ . . . it made him shudder. But Jesus had been willing to die for him. He remembered the day he had really believed that truth. He had felt the love of Jesus reaching down through time from Mount Calvary to his heart.
Now, as he prayed about his decision, he became aware of that same love reaching beyond him to others in faraway places. He knew it was the love of Jesus. In a moment, one very special moment, he knew. That moment became crystallized in time. It was a moment of decision . . . of knowing . . . of willingness to fit into God’s design.
“Well, when do we pack?” he asked that night at the dinner table.
“Just as simple as that?” his father laughed, leaning back in his chair and relaxing a little.
“Well, it wasn’t so simple, but I do know I want to go with you!”
“Are you sure, Henry?” his mother asked calmly. “We want you to be sure.”
“I’m sure, Mom. I know. It just feels right inside. I’m already excited about making the trip!”
“I can guarantee it will be exciting,” his dad promised. “And we’ll be looking forward to it even more, knowing you’ll be there with us.”