When I was a young woman I had a conversation with Jesus where I told him I would do anything he asked me to do… but I was clear that I never wanted to go on a mission trip.
I thought we had an understanding, but apparentlyhe has other plans.
Today I’m leaving on my first ever mission trip to visit a refugee camp in Malawi, Africa. I have no idea what Jesus has in store for me, but I know that if he asked me to do this, then he must have something AMAZING waiting for me.
What I’ve come to learn over the years is that responding to Jesus in obedience and stepping out with faith to do what he asks of me is always more rewarding than I anticipate it will be. Although it isn’t always easy, and often pushes me far beyond the places where I’m comfortable, it’s always well worth the investment.
Here’s a few other things I’ve learned along the way as I’ve done my best to follow God’s plans for my life rather than my own…
I’ve learned that Jesus is good and every thought and intention towards me is good. So, if he asks me to do something outside of my comfort zone, it’s because there’s something good waiting in that step of faith. Most often it isn’t just something good for me, but something so incredibly good for someone else.
I’ve learned that Jesus is love and that everything he is and everything he does is meant to reveal the heart of the Father which is also filled with love. His requests and directions are constant reminders of his love and lead me into an ever-expanding understanding of his love for me and the people around me.
My favourite moments of life have become the ones where God nudges me to step out and say something to someone, pray for someone or do something kind for someone and then sit back and watch the expression as they realize this wasn’t just human intervention, but a gesture of God’s kindness and love that was sent directly from heaven. There is no greater purpose or more fulfilling task on the face of the earth than to extend the gentle yet powerful love of the Heavenly Father to someone when they need it the most.
I’ve also learned that my relationship with Jesus is all about trust. He loves me, and trusts me to partner with him in seeing his Kingdom revealed in this earth. I love him, and trust that when he asks me to step far outside the places where I’ve comfortable, He will lead, protect and guide. When he speaks, it is for a purpose far greater than I can ever comprehend. It’s not up to me to understand all the reasons why or have everything all figured out. He’s only asked me to have faith and trust him in the process.
I’ve learned that I won’t always get it right, but if I don’t try I’ll never grow.
I’ve learned that I won’t always have all the answers, but I walk with the One who does.
I’ve learned that although following is not always easy, it hurts more to say no than to say yes.
I’ve learned that God’s plans for my life don’t always come with complete clarity, so I have had to learn tochoose courage over clarity. Every. Single. Day.
I’ve learned that following Jesus leadership in my life sometimes drags me far outside my comfort zones, but it’s always worth the stretch.
I’ve learned that trusting God’s plan rather than my own takes courage but brings an incredible amount of peace.
I’ve also learned that Jesus didn’t give us a Comforter so that we could be comfortable, but sent us the Comforter because he was going to ask us to do a lot of very uncomfortable things. Things that he knew I could not do on my own. Things he could not ask me to do on my own. Things that I need to lean into the guidance, truth and protection of the Holy Spirit to accomplish.
Today, I’m leaving on a mission trip, but I as I step out in faith and do THE thing I said I NEVER wanted to do, I’m leaving with a promise. The promise of his presence with me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ll admit I’m scared, but I’m going anyway. Sometimes when God asks us to go, we will be scared, but don’t let that stop you. There are blessings you could never imagine on the other side of your obedience.
So, what has Jesus been speaking to you about that you’ve been scared to do?
Are you ready to step out in obedience?
I’m so deeply convinced that it was Jesus who asked me to go on this trip that I believe I’m going to get a first-hand seat to once again see his kindness, goodness and love poured out on the precious people of Malawi and our Canadian team. I can’t wait to fill you in on all the details when I get home.
Brenda Drost is a Pastor and Speaker who is known for her warm smile and passionate preaching style. Whether she is teaching at her home church or out on the road, she loves to bring challenging messages that actually help people live out their faith in the real world. She and her husband live on their farm in the beautiful Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada where they have raised their four children. Find out more about Brenda here.