Let me just say God is good!!! I mean as if we didn’t all know this amazing fact, but nonetheless it never hurts to say: GOD IS GOOD! After reflecting on day one, I was very optimistic of what day two would bring even though I was still struggling and hoping to connect with someone. We started off the day by going to the Mosaic Church in a LA and boy did the Lord have a word for us! An on time word for me, I might add. The lead pastor, Erwin McManus, was truly just a gift from God. His message on having pure joy during our trials and tribulations was presented in a unique way that really touched me. I wish I could recap everything he said but I wouldn’t do it justice but I will highlight a few things that touched and also add the link to their website below.
- Joy has little to do with our circumstances
- Do not look to God as a loophole out of a life of trials and tribulations. Think about! Jesus went through so much to save us, so do you really expect your entire Christian life to be peaches and cream! We must suffer but what honor it is to suffer for the name of our Father!
- It is who become in the midst of suffering that is virtuous and a true testament to the glory of God.
- Every time you chose the easy way out, you are actually weakening yourself instead of getting stronger and persevering by choosing the path that God has set for you. A path that will stretch you, teach you and mold you into what God has called you to be!
- It is not material things that meets our needs or even things created but it is our CREATOR, ABBA, that meets all of our needs
- God always meets us where we are
Link to the church: http://mosaic.org/ You can also download their app on Android and Apple by searching Mosaic Church LA
For the second half of the day I still worried if I would get a chance to connect with anyone in the group. I found myself anxious and worried about how I was coming off and felt like shutting down. Despite these feeling, I just gave it to God. I was honest to Him in my prayers and asked Him to just remove these expectations I had and allow be to be open, trusting and confident in whatever He has planned for us. And my God did just that! As we wrapped up, we had a quick worship session together and prayer. At one point the leaders went around and asked where we felt we were at spiritually and what we wanted from this trip. For some reason, I decided to go first. Yes, it shocked me too but I knew it was God because Lise was not in the mood. I spoke up and from the heart and expressed how I felt God was changing and transforming the old traditions, culture, and religious mess that I had mixed in with simply following and loving Him. I finished speaking and soon everyone else began sharing. One young lady on the trip spoke about dealing with anxiety and depression and instantly I felt my spirit directing towards her. I used to be her and some days still struggle. After she spoke, I felt led to share my story of depression and anxiety and hoe God saved me. Later we talked, shared our story and prayed and there it was! God had done it again! I was so scared and anxious and full of expectations that I almost missed out on God using me and showing me something better and greater than any expectations I could have fathom. He had heard my prayer and here I was connecting, understanding and encouraging my sister in Christ.
God is working and I am learning more and more every day that tomorrow will worry about itself but trusting God will allow me to live in the moments He has created for me and to experience His love through others in ways that will stretch me. Yes, I am in a situation that is scary and makes me anxious and not 100% comfortable but MY GOD is GOOD and He is working. I am so excited to share this journey while here in LA and I pray that my experiences encourage you to just continue trusting and surrendering to God because His plans for us are so much more than what we could imagine and plan for ourselves.