Two summers ago my son was preparing to go on his first Mexico mission’s trip. At the time, the news was rife with stories of danger for travelers. For that reason, the team had been advised by locals to not do the street ministry they typically did – it was just too dangerous. A week before they were to leave, our youth pastor called and told me that the leaders felt the Spirit leading them to continue with the ministry; so strongly, in fact, that they were asking if it were all right if our son participated. What could I say? I trusted the team’s word from the Lord and I trust the Lord…there was only one answer: Of course.
That choice was based on love, not fear. Before you think I’m a stranger to worry and fear, I could tell you stories that prove I’ve spent my time there. However, not long before that summer, I’d learned about the difference between love-based prayer and fear-based prayer. So much of our prayers and conversations are fear-based. ‘What if’ and ‘They might’ sentence beginnings prove it. If you think about your prayers, so many of them ask the Lord to cover our fears. He does and wants us to bring to Him all our worries, but I’d found that when I prayed too many of those kinds of prayers, my thoughts followed. Instead, I tried a new tact: love-based thoughts and prayers. What a difference!!
So, after that phone call and all during the mission trip, I prayed love-based prayers for my son and the team. I asked that they truly minister and bless; that their love for Him would outshine any darkness there; that their compassion would be strong for everyone they met…and on and on. Not once did a fear enter my mind. The Lord reassured me that everyone would come home overwhelmed with awe and wonder.
Not only did that happen, but my wonder for the peace He provided and the accomplishments of His goals overwhelmed me, too. My son experienced beautiful people, the using of his gifts, camaraderie of the team and a stepping out of himself that he couldn’t have, had he stayed home. With that, was a wonder at what God did. His hand was everywhere as they all shared stories of an ability to go beyond what their bodies and spirits could do, so they could reach people who needed their touch.
As for me, basing my prayers in love made all the difference. Had I worried instead of waited for Him to show me his power, I would have missed out. My son needed to go to Mexico to teach me that, I guess. Now, even though the world would tell me I have plenty of issues to worry about, I just can’t because I know that around the corner is an experience that will leave me in wonder at what God has done. If I worry, I miss it, because an important part is for me to trust him to work, set aside my worry and wait for the wonder. It’ll come. I know it will because He keeps allowing me to live it, one story at a time. So if you’re tempted to worry, don’t. The wonder’s coming. Watch for it in hopeful and confident expectation. He will come through because He is a love-based God.