Do no neglect to show hospitality to strangers…” Hebrews 13:2
I’m a missionary and I struggle with hospitality. There, I said it. Hospitality does not come naturally to me. Often times it’s work rather than a delight. To be sure, I enjoy inviting people into my home and sharing a meal and life with them. I truly do. However, I am slowly discovering that there is an ugly thread of selfishness woven within my hospitality. I enjoy it when it is on my terms, on my time table––when it is convenient for me. This ought not to be. It was never like that with Jesus. And I want to be like Him.
By the grace of God, I am learning to open my home freely and generously––allowing His Spirit to work unhindered and powerfully through a heart of generosity and love. Welcoming strangers with open arms. Being willing to be expended for the sake of the Gospel. Not putting up overly protective parameters around my home (and my heart), but rather offering my home as place of refuge, rest and joy for others. This has been both radically uncomfortable and joyously liberating all at once.
For far too long I have set up strict (albeit invisible) boundaries so as to not be overly spent or too uncomfortable or too put-out. But, constantly running around trying to fortify these boundaries is an exhausting and stressful way to live! It leaves one feeling sour and Scrooge-like. Just recently, the Lord has been whispering into my heart, “open up the gates and enjoy it.” Enjoy it. He’s telling me to surrender my boundaries to Him and watch as He works. To trust Him with my heart and home. And, oh how our God does not disappoint!
As I obediently open wide the gates to welcome others in, I find the gate of my heart following suit. Rather than my feeling invaded by unexpected guests, I desire to make them feel invited. I’m still growing in this, but I am liking where the Lord is taking me. So I keep following … and keep opening. All for His glory and my great joy!