This past Sunday, our pastor, Chad Fisher shared a quote from Rick Warren that I just love. Warren says, “Worship is focusing my attention on God, expressing my affection to God, and using my abilities for God.”
Chad went on to say that when worship is all about God, it’s not about anything else.
This sums up the Honduras trip to me. Since our return, God has created ways in which we have been able to share and process our thoughts, emotions, dreams, and desires. We’ve each found that as God removed us from our “normals”, and placed us in a new, and foreign land, suddenly everything became all about Him in such a heightened fashion. The closeness and presence of the Spirit was so tangible, you could feel it to the touch.
After a full day of travel to Honduras, we did not pass go, nor collect $200, we went straight to church. And I’m telling you, Honduran people can worship! Somehow, the hours it took in arriving all melted away as we lifted our voices, unknown Spanish words and all. We were welcomed, and we were received with open arms!
We shared times of labor in love, we shared many moments of adventure and laughter, yet my favorite times were some of the quiet ones. To simply sit and be still can be a little uncomfortable and awkward when you live life in fast-forward, or “what’s next mode”. In the quiet, I find I can hear and see so much more clearly, as if a blurry lens suddenly finds its focal point.
Each morning after breakfast, we gathered for a time of devotion. I found this to be a tremendous way to start the day. The Lord truly gave each person assigned for the morning a message, or song, or testimony, or reflective question to ask that prepared our hearts and minds for His will in such a unique way. That never grows old for me. My personal God meets me, and at the same time, meets every child of His with a message that touches and draws a soul closer to His heart. What a love. What is does is refreshes, rejuvenates, refocus, and sets you on a laser-focus setting. Worship. Amen!
In the afternoons, we spent time evangelizing in the neighborhood of Limon, those that surrounded the Nutrition Center. Let me tell you, these were my favorite moments. Not because it was easy. Not because it was comfortable. But because, in stepping out, I actually had the utmost honor of seeing, with my own eyes, hearts and lives changed for eternity. Nothing like it.
Prayer was a big part. We began with large group prayer, we entered with small group prayer, we prayed while we shared, we prayed after sharing, and again prayed in small groups after leaving. Just. So. Powerful. It was hot. We had to draw on patience with language barrier and pauses with interpreting needs. We asked some challenging questions. We read some scriptural truths, en Espanol. And my life perspective changed.
Melissa Ransom described the experience as one which drew her to a connection with Old Testament times. In walking the dirt streets, seeing the children gather, hearing the needs for food, water, and healing, it definitely was indeed a glimpse. In fact, I often found myself in a group with several of the “youngins”. Teenagers – 14, 15 years old. You could have fooled me. They shared with the same passion and knowledge of a seasoned preacher. No fear. In fact, one evening, two of the boys decided to take on the challenge of 2 others tough looking chicos hangin out on the corner. They began to engage in conversation, and before we knew it, a lady with a cake on her head stopped and began listening in. The rest of us girls approached her and began to share, then noticed another lady had walked outside her home and sat on a chair, leaning in. The girls rotated our little group her way, and engaged her and a friend in our conversation. We listened and prayed with them, and as we turned back to the four boys previously mentioned, my heart dropped. I counted. 19 total young Hondurans were now gathered around Edgar, one of the interpreters. As we joined this flock, I had one thought.
This is what is was like to live in the time of Paul.
Truly, it was a sight to behold. It is permanently etched in my mind’s eye. The young adults were asking questions, and Edgar was reaching out the Bible for them to read particular truths. He spoke in a tone that was dripping with love and patience. He acknowledged their doubts and questions, then redirected to the truth. Here he stood, as a Honduran teenager, standing in the dirt streets, not giving a hoot about the opinion of his peers, but focusing his attention on God, expressing his affection to God, and using his abilities for God. Such a tenderness for lost souls. From a 15 year old. Worship. And it was a beautiful sight. And I gave him a hug. And I cried.
I cried for all those times I’ve chosen to focus on things that simply waste away. I cried for those moments I’ve spent worried about what others would think of me. I cried for those opportunities that I missed because of fear. I cried for the souls of those around me who appeared empty and hopeless. I cried for the many voices I heard that believed the only way to get to heaven is by working to earn it. I cried in gratitude for the free gift of grace Christ offers to every single soul. I cried over the fact that I was a lost soul in need of a Savior and that while I am sinning, Christ died for me. What a gift. What a Savior.
We also worshiped by gathering in the home of one of the founding families of the church in Choluteca. They invited us to their weekly life group and we laughed during the ice breaker, participated in a discussion about those who suffer for Christ, and shared a snack and some fellowship time together. Worship.
Yet another opportunity came in listening to our Rock City leader, John Ransom, give a message at Saturday service. No pun intended, but he rocked it out! He was so cool calm, and collected, you never would have guessed that somehow, just before boarding the bus, his shoes mysterious walked away on their own! He spoke about God being more interested in changing me, than in changing my circumstances. Yowzers! Did THAT message hit home. He spoke of hope. He spoke of peace. He spoke of running! 🙂 We worshiped.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
Challenge: How do you respond to this statement? – I was created to find satisfaction in Christ alone.