As human beings, we are constantly misplacing things. Whether it is our phone, car keys or TV remote, we are always overlooking what is right in front of us.
According to an online study, Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for lost items. We spend more than $2.7 billion a year replacing misplaced objects!
The number one cause for overlooking or missing these items is multitasking. I can’t tell you how many times I have been searching so hard for my keys or phone just to find it in plain sight, on the kitchen counter the entire time.
When we are so busy doing other things or jumping from one thing to the next, we sometimes miss the thing we are truly looking for. The same can happen in our spiritual lives when we are working towards evangelizing and pursuing the Great Commission.
I recently came back from the mission field, and my entire goal on the field was to share the Gospel through interactions with people in the community. When I first arrived, I loved being out and interacting with my community and our church plant.
For the first couple of months, we were gone all day, trying to meet people and organize events/studies to share with college students around the city. We were focused and loving our ministry.
After roughly four months on the field, we were hit with a major challenge—the COVID-19 pandemic. We quickly went from engaging people every day to being faced with complete isolation and lockdown. I found myself feeling without a purpose in my mission overseas. My viewpoint of ministry had to completely change based on our current circumstances.
Thankfully, we had an amazing ministry team that worked together to continue advancing the Gospel to the people in our community. We were able to switch from in-person services at our church plant to online services, Bible studies, and daily encouragement on our social media pages. As we found ourselves bouncing between complete isolation to less strict regulations, we constantly adjusted our ministry to fit COVID requirements while still proclaiming the name of Christ.
Near the end of our second lockdown in March 2021, I sought the Lord to help me think of a creative way to reach more in our community. I was led to use my background in English to create and implement an online English Conversation Workshop through Zoom.
My team was extremely supportive and guided me to tools that helped me to develop a plan and program that would help and reach unbelievers in our region. The program was promoted on Facebook and was offered for free, thanks to generous gifts to our ministry.
I didn’t know if anyone would show up or if the event would even be successful, I just jumped in and was obedient in the Lord’s calling. When I logged into my first Saturday session, I was pleased to find a young lady was already waiting. I thought, “Wow! What an amazing opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation right off the back.”
Once we made introductions, we started talking about where we lived in the city. Strangely enough, we lived in the same district in the city! Once we talked more, I came to find out she lived on the same street, by the same metro stop, and the SAME apartment building! Come to find out, she lived in the apartment right BELOW mine and has been my neighbor since the start of the pandemic. I found myself speechless at how the Lord revealed this opportunity that was right in front of me the whole time!
After the session ended, my roommate and I invited her up for afternoon coffee that day. Not only were we able to share the Gospel with her, but she came to our Easter service the following day and was someone we continued to share with for the rest of our term.
Amidst the pandemic and my search for ministry opportunities, I was missing an amazing opportunity literally right under my nose. My neighbors were just as lost as anyone on the street or within my community, yet I completely missed them. They were a ministry opportunity I could reach within the confines of lockdowns and heavy restrictions. In a way, they were my car keys and phone I was looking so hard for that I completely missed how they were right in front of me.
I tell you this story for two reasons. First, to praise God for the work He did in the midst of a world crisis. This was something only He could do. I’m sure we can each look into our ministries and find ways He continues to reveal Himself to those in our communities and all over the world.
Second, to encourage you not to overlook the opportunities that are right in front of you. Sometimes we are always looking for the right time, person or place in order to share the Gospel when the Lord has placed people all around us.
Think of your neighbors or co-workers who you encounter every day. Think of the waitress taking your order or the teenager bagging your groceries. These are everyday encounters that can lead to someone coming to know Christ.
Reflect upon your life and ask yourself if you are searching so hard for the “right” things that you are overlooking the opportunities to further the Kingdom of God.