My 16 year-old daughter boarded a plane (well, actually two) for Honduras today to go on her third mission’s trip.
In preparation for the trip, her youth mission team went on a weekend trip for team-building and visited a ministry in Atlanta called Bethel (an extension of Bethel in Redding, California).
Destination known only to parents and leaders, the team loaded a bus to the great the unknown. First arriving in Stone Mountain, they climbed the mountain and walked sky-ropes, conquering fears and learning to work as a team.
Later they learned of spiritual gifts and demonstrating God’s love to those around them. They learn to listen to His voice.
Then, these young people put words into action by “Treasure Hunting”. Treasure, by definition, is any thing or person greatly-valued or highly-prized.
The group gathers and prays for The Lord to reveal specific things then they ask to people if they can pray for them. Throwing off inhibitions and facing fear of rejection to fulfill God’s call.
Often they are turned down. Some might think they are those crazy Jesus-freaky, weird religious people.
But for those of us who know Him, Jesus Freak is kind of complementary. And oh, how I desire for people to understand that following Jesus is not religion. It’s so much more than rules and rituals. It’s showing His love.
When my daughter prayed she felt an impression of bright yellow but had no idea what this meant. A person in a yellow shirt? McDonald’s ? (Golden arches. I love teenagers and how they think.)
She was turned down several times. She became discouraged.
And elderly couple accepted her offer and the group prayed for this retired minister and his wife who was losing her memory.
And at the end, the gentleman pulled my daughter aside and asked her to keep his grandson in her prayers.
His grandson is 17 and doesn’t speak. He has autism.
And there it was. The open door. The not growing weary in well-doing.
With tears, she told this grandfather about her 12 year-old brother who didn’t speak and had autism and Down syndrome.
Then her friend told her to look down. As she stood on freshly-painted yellow lines at the entrance of Walmart, Jesus showed up in young people willing to be the hands and feet.
The group prayed for the man’s grandson.
Then, they began to pray and speak life over my son. My daughter’s little brother.
In a generation where death is spoken and mocking prevails, the compassion of the Father expressed through the sons and daughters brought hope.
What if my daughter had given up? What if she didn’t obey and told God it was just too hard and she was tired of rejection?
What if she worried more of what people thought than of what God thought?
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
I’ve said of my son, we must love him than what others think of him.
We must love God more than what others think of us.
And obey him when it doesn’t seem to be “happening” for us.
I’ve been in that place lately, wondering if what I care so much about even matters. Growing weary in my well-doing and wondering is this of importance to anyone and most importantly- to the Lord.
How often are we so close and give up? How many don’t let Him in and miss it.
God loves those most weak and vulnerable. I must press on. I must not stop speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
For they are highly- prized. His treasure.
I must not lose heart for those who His heart loves.
I often refer to my children as my treasures. His children are His treasures. Greatly-valued and highly prized.