Isaiah 6:8 states this: "And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”
Going on a mission trip is one of the most rewarding, life altering, breathtaking experiences for any Christ follower. You embark on an adventure to a far away land, meet people from that country who will forever change your life and you become close with those on your team. But what happens when you choose to ignore God's will for your life and never go?
I almost made that very mistake this summer. This summer, I was supposed to be traveling through Europe to find the next amazing missions trip for my school, and due to circumstances beyond my control in Europe, the trip was canceled. I was given an alternative: Guatemala.
Having already collected the funds to travel on that trip, I prayed about what God had in store for me. I won't lie, I did not want to go to Guatemala. I wanted my original trip; however, that was not going to happen. After a few days of praying, I told my campus pastor that I would attend the trip to Guatemala.
We arrived in Guatemala extremely in awe. Only one of us spoke the language (Spanish), and as for the rest of us, we had no clue what was being said to us half the time. Not only were we unsure of what was being said to us, but we also had some culture shock at what we had been seeing.
I am here to say though, that through the language barrier and culture shock, listening to God was one of the best decisions I had made in my life. While I did not want to be in Guatemala at first, I realized that Guatemala needed us, more than I needed to go to Europe.
The villages there were like nothing I had ever seen. Trash everywhere, children taking care of their siblings, inviting us into whatever house we were near. The people genuinely cared for us and our safety. We asked the children if they knew why we were there and they said to us "to talk about Jesus, to show his love and to play with us." While I thought these children would only think we were there for them, they knew who had sent us to visit: Christ.
If I had never gone to Guatemala, I would never have experienced the true joy of serving others for Christ. I would never have felt the love of others, when they have nothing. I would never have met the awesome people that I did. I would not have grown in my relationship with Christ.
When the trip concluded, I realized that because God closed the first door, I was able to experience the joy that He had for me in Guatemala. I realized that I only wanted to travel through Europe for an opportunity of traveling through Europe. Because God closed that door, I was able to see my selfish heart, and serve those who needed to hear God's word and experience God's love. Listening to Christ, I felt more love and joy in Guatemala than I thought possible - and I did not even want to go on the trip in the first place.
If you listen to God, you will enjoy the rewards - that is a promise. God knows exactly what you need even before you need it. By listening to God, I felt a love in my heart for people I did not even know existed. I thought Guatemala needed me, but I needed Guatemala more.
Next time you hear the voice of the Lord calling you to do something, trust in Him. Do it. In the end, you will not regret that leap of faith.