“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Turn your worry into worship!
God’s in control of every situation!
Many times I see worried looks on the faces of those leaving for their first mission trip. Excitement mixed with apprehension! For many, it will be the first time on foreign soil, far from the comforts that we have become so accustomed to here in the United States. For others it will be the first time away from family or friends. It’s only natural to be a little uneasy of something you’ve never experienced before. Congratulations, you’re normal! Of course we can expect to be a little uneasy when we get out of our comfort zone. I’m sure the apostles felt a little like a fish out of water when they left their homes in the hill country of Galilee to follow Jesus to places they’d never been. I’m sure as Peter was sitting in the courtyard of the high priest after Jesus’ arrest he was thinking “I’m just a simple fisherman from a small town…what in the world have I gotten myself into!” No doubt Moses was thinking “yep, I’m dead” as he walked in to challenge Pharaoh to free the Israelites from bondage.
So take heart in the fact that you are not alone! If you are a little nervous about the task before you, then you are in the company of just about everyone who has ever served Christ, including Peter and Moses. The good news is that God is in control! Nothing ever catches God off guard, He has known about every situation that you will encounter in your lifetime since the beginning of eternity, and He’s ready for it! He’s got a plan!
Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians that if we will approach God in prayer with thanksgiving that He will give us peace; peace so unexplainable that we are incapable of understanding it; and that peace will guard our hearts and minds! I cannot begin to count the times that God has so graciously filled my heart with unexplainable peace in times that I so desperately needed it.
The secret to finding it is to stop thinking about your own abilities and start focusing on God’s ability. Worship him! Only in the midst of worship do we get an intimate portrait of His majesty! As we lift Him up in true, heartfelt worship we realize just what an awesome God He is! As we bask in the light of His glory, we take comfort in the fact that we are hidden under His wings, surrounded by His love.
In October of 2003 I was involved in a three day crusade in León, Nicaragua. Thousands of people had traveled untold hours on crowded school buses to come to the event. We had spent months of hard work and lots of money in preparation for this event. Everything was ready! The stage was set, the band was tuned, buses were rolling in and people were beginning to fill the 10,000 seat baseball stadium to capacity… and it rained! Not only did it rain, it RAINED! Cats and dogs didn’t even do it justice. Rivers flowed through the infield as the band hurried to cover thousands of dollars worth of sound equipment with thin plastic sheets. My response? I suppose it was somewhere between frustration and utter disbelief. This was the dry season, it’s not supposed to rain! I was worried that the people would leave and the crusade would be a disaster.
As we huddled in the dugouts with the ministry team and the local pastors who had worked so hard to bring this crusade together, I was at the point of tears. Then, over in the corner, muffled by the sound of the storm, I heard a hymn. It was in Spanish, but it was a hymn…How Great thou Art! A single voice began to praise the Lord and one by one each of those in that drenched dugout on a baseball field in Northwestern Nicaragua began to join in! Before long our praise rang out across the field and into the stands. Those in the stadium, though soaked to the bone, never gave an inch but stayed through the torrent just worshipping the king. The harder it rained, the louder we sang and lo and behold the clouds parted, the stars came out and the rained stopped.
There will be, no doubt, times of worry when God calls you to a mission. Times when you need God’s reassuring touch. I can promise you that rain will come when you least expect it. When it does, just remember that God is in control. Don’t worry, just worship and watch God take the clouds away.
Love in Christ,